Third post on community. Right, I know what you are thinking, but God is bringing so much into my life that lead me to think about community. Even today, as I had to do a small teaching part in our church's youth meeting to cover for a friend who had to work, God was using me to help community both at church and our larger community of faith.
Our youth have a question of the week each week, and this week's was "How can God for give something I've done that's really, really bad?" I had a talk in my head within an hour of being notified I was teaching and discussed about it with a co-worker. She then asked what I thought about Hebrews 6--the much ill-famed chapter that some believe teaches we can lose our salvation. I began to talk about grace, salvation and our adoption. I told her how I think we all have this Christianity thing and this church thing wrong. Christianity is not about praying the "sinner's prayer" and living life however one wants. It's about living as a disciple, as a friend of Christ right now and for that relationship to continue in heaven. It's about committing our life to God and giving that life to the One who bought it. Church is not about worship services, sunday school and pot-lucks. It's about a vibrant community of faith that worships together not only on Sunday but also every other day of the week as they do life together.
She then broke down into tears telling me of a regular struggle she has with guilt and condemnation. I passed a tissue and listened. We talked about habitual sin and sin patterns and forgiveness and grace once again. Then I listened some more. Finally, when she was through sharing her heart, I made a joke and we continued with the afternoon at work. She thanked me for sharing what I was talking about that night and that regardless of what the youth think, it ministered to her. "That's what church is all about," I responded and told her I'll be praying for her. I pray she transfers the head knowledge she's had for years to a heart knowledge that shapes and transforms her life.
It's not my words or anything I did that helped her. It was God working through me; through the community that He has created and designed to encourage, edify and equip believers--His children. I love it! I love the church--both the universal and the local community of faith! May every day be community expressed or community lived out for us. May we never let those "divine moments" escape our notice and action. May we never forsake the opportunities that arise to encourage another believer in their walk! May we always, in all things, "consider others before ourselves" thereby building a community that is based on Christ and and created through us instead of one whose foundation lies with me and with you!
until Christ is formed in us...