Oh the blood of Jesus…. It washed us! It cleansed us! It made us whole! It paid our pardon! How precious the blood of our Christ! Out of all of the wonderful things that the blood did, how often do we think about the fact that that blood birthed us into a brand new family. 

Yes, I know that you are a “Jones” or a “Robinson” but when you admitted that you were your own worst enemy and  abandoned your will for the“call of Christ”, something else happened. You joined and army of hopeless, wounded and forgotten warriors, who’ve found life’s meaning in Christ! You weren’t the first and you won’t be the last! This new family, organism and body has infinite importance and is precisely the mechanism Christ will use to announce His rule and reign on earth. Dietrich Bonheoffer says, “If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ.” 
 
Allow me to provide three truths about community that will bring greater awareness to its role in our faith walk.

First, it’s not optional! In the same way that you were born into your biological family and could not choose your siblings, you were also born into a new spiritual family. This family is not an organization, you can’t vote people in and you can’t vote people out. To choose to disassociate yourself with other members of your new family is equivalent to gauging your eyes out, as we are now one body. We can’t function without each other. 

Second, it’s a necessity! God said in Genesis, “it’s not good that man should be alone.” If you have convinced yourself that you don’t need anything else but God then you are boldly standing in opposition to the perfect decree of the father. Think about it, we can’t enjoy a new flavor of ice cream without each other. We can’t even be miserable by ourselves without calling some one to express our concerns with. Let’s face it a part of us has been wired to need other humans, more importantly other  believers.

Third, it’s not natural! “Even though community is one of the deepest needs of our heart, there’s a force field in the world that make it so hard”-- (Tim Keller). We have been socialized to more easily discern what we don’t have in common than what we do. We’ve been taught to take pride in our heritage and our gender and make sure that we don’t allow others to devalue it. We have been taught to look out for ourselves above all costs, even if that comes at the expense of others. 
 
We might not be willing
to acknowledge it right off but community is what we need and what we probably
  long for. “Christian Community” is the place that you will be comforted when
  hurting, where we’ll share in your triumphs. It’s the place where you find
  correction when you’re wrong, where you’re encouraged to grow. Without it you
  will not survive and your decision to live outside of it is a decision to live
  outside of the fellowship of our Christ. Keller also says, “Christians come
  together not by other commonalities but a common salvation to which Jesus is
  owed a common allegiance.” I beg of you brother/ sister take your place next to
  the rest of your family. We’re not perfect and neither are you but we’re much
  better together than we are apart!

 


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