Column: Faith Foundations

A challenge to engage in community by James McFaddin, New Life Church.

c

I’m not saying we’re obsessed with needing people around, it’s just nice to get folks together and enjoy some company. Especially over food. Both of us have some Italian heritage, and celebration over food is a wonderful thing. You get a chance to eat something amazing, and your mouth is usually full enough that you have to listen to another person speak without being able to interrupt. It’s in those moments where you can experience some intimacy with people.

Community and intimacy. This is a concept that seems to be lost nowadays. Long ago (in a galaxy far away) people used to really know each other. Even the ugly sides. And it was okay, because we were there for each other through thick and thin. We didn’t base our relationships on today’s consumeristic habits: “If I don’t like it, i’ll just throw it out and get another one.” It’s this mentality that’s cheapened the idea of true community.

You might ask, then, what true community really is, so I’ll tell you. Grab a Bible and follow along. Find the section called “Acts”, it’s in the second half of the good book. Turn to chapter two and look for that little verse-marker that says 44. Read from 44 to 47 and you’ll see some community in action!

The love of Jesus was in the hearts of these people. Naturally they wouldn’t have acted the way they did. People are selfish, they want to look out for number one, and make sure they are taken care of first (not their fellow man). But these people sold their possessions so they could help others who were in need. They ate food together in each other’s homes. They celebrated and mourned with one another. They did life together they were part of a community.

God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit exist in community, and from God we were created. We were created from community for community. And it’s the love that comes from Jesus which enables us to look beyond ourselves and care exceedingly well for our fellow man.

We can celebrate with one another. Mourn with one another. Meet each other’s needs, and care for one another. We can even be intimate with each other and that’s not a scary thing, but rather beautiful. Sometimes we just can’t do it on our own; that’s why we have each other! At the centre of our community should be the heart of Christ, for it is the amazing work of Jesus that allows us to love our community unconditionally.

Do yourself a favour: get involved in a church. Get involved in a great community!