Sept. 5 & 6, 2020
This message is timely because of the upheaval and chaotic times in which we find ourselves living. We face health, racial, economic and political concerns. We need community now more than ever. This week, we’ll examine:
- That we are created for community.
- How community is difficult.
- How community reveals.
- How community redeems.
- God created us to live in community with one another.
Genesis 1:26-27 – God said He created mankind in OUR image. The God of Christianity is different than any of the gods people have made up. God is community (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).
People were created in that image of community.
Genesis 2:18 – God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone so He created Adam and Eve to live together.
One of the biggest effects of sin was the breakdown of community. We’ve lived with that breakdown ever since.
We live our lives chasing things that don’t matter. Social media might give us connections but not true community. It cheapens relationships.
“We are lonely, but fearful of intimacy. Digital connections may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. Our networked lives allow us to hide from each other, even as we are tethered to each other. When technology engineers intimacy, relationships can be reduced to mere connections. And then, easy connection becomes redefined as intimacy.” Sherry Turkle, Alone Together
Ephesians 2:13-14 – Paul spoke about how Jesus and the gospel reconciled the Jews and Gentiles back into community with one another.
1 John 1:14 – The ability to love, serve, forgive, bear with and connect with other sinners like ourselves is a defining characteristic of what it means to be a Christ follower.
John 13:34-35 – Christ commanded us to love one another as He loved us. That love would show people we are Christ followers.
Hebrews 10:24-25 – Being in intentional community is good for every single human being especially Christ followers.
- Community is difficult.
Sherry Turkle defines community. “Communities are constituted by physical proximity, shared concerns, real consequences, and common responsibilities.”
“Part of the very essence of Christianity is to be together in a concrete community, with all the real human faults that are there and the tensions that this will bring us. Spirituality, for a Christian, can never be an individualistic quest, the pursuit of God outside of community, family, and church. The God of the incarnation tells us that anyone who says he or she loves an invisible God in heaven and is unwilling to deal with a visible neighbor is a liar since no one can love a God who cannot be seen if he or she cannot love a neighbor who can be seen. Hence a Christian spirituality is always as much about dealing with each other as it is about dealing with God.” – Ronald Rolheiser
Jesus’ disciples were diverse and being together as a community would have been challenging. (Matthew 10:1-4)
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
- Community reveals.
Being a part of a community will eventually reveal who you really are. It is through those revelations that you can see your faults and work on them.
- Community redeems.
Community heals us. It’s a big part of how God transforms us.
“Spiritual formation occurs primarily in the context of community. Longterm interpersonal relationships are the crucible of genuine progress in the Christian life. People who stay grow. People who leave do not grow. It is a simple but profound biblical reality that we both grow and thrive together or we do not grow that much at all. – C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison, Slow Church