Everyone wants to be part of something. We all want to have our place that we fit in. Whether it’s with our friends, or our jobs, or our families, we long for community.
I believe that the desire for community is something that God has put inside of us. He designed us to be in community with Him, and with other believers. In Galatians 6, Paul exhorts the church to bear each others burdens, and to do good to everyone, especially the other believers.
Paul tells the church that we’re in this life together. We don’t need to try and go at it alone. The sad thing is that this seems to be something that the church has missed. Instead of bearing each others burdens, instead of seeking to do good to everyone, we judge, we condemn, and we gossip about whatever sin “they” fell into.
God’s church should be the greatest community on earth, but far to often we reduce it to what would be expected of children. We miss the point that we’re supposed to help each other, and we end up pushing each other down with the false idea that we’re better than them.
Forgive me if it sounds like I’m ranting, and I know that I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. But I believe that it is time for a change. It is time that we raise the bar of community in the church.
If you read through the book of Acts, the church was a beautiful example of the community that God calls us to, not without fault, but unified. It was the way that they lived, and the way that they treated the people around them that brought people into the church. The ones looking in from the outside witnessed the community, the grace, and the love in the church, and they craved it. People were being added to the church daily.
Today, there are still people looking in from the outside, but what they often witness is something far from community. The way that God’s people interact with each other, and with the world is no longer what brings people in. It has become what keeps people away.
Christians are known today for being hypocritical and judgemental. That breaks my heart, for the people who won’t give Jesus a chance because His church has misrepresented Him, and for the church who has apathetically allowed itself to fall to such a place.
There is grace. God is a God of love, and forgiveness. I pray that as you read these words, let Jesus infiltrate your heart and change how you interact with those around you. Let’s become the community that shows the world Jesus.
Lord, we aren’t worthy. We aren’t good. We are empty and in such need of You.
Fill us, equip us, break our hearts for this world.
Let Your name be glorified in Your church, amen.