(For many, COVID has changed this. They want to engage with community, but cannot at this time. This does not change the human need for community, and the fact that the Bible is a community document, not an individuated document. COVID threatens community. This is part of its insidiousness.)
Linda and I have begun our 29th year at Redeemer. We love our church family. And, we love seeing them and being with them on Sunday mornings.
In my 50 years as a Jesus-follower, and our 47 years of marriage, we have never isolated ourselves from the body of Christ. Many of you can say the same, to which I say, "Well done!"
The Real Jesus called forth a community to dwell in and work through, not a
bunch of isolated, detached individuals. Call this “church.” Ekklesia.
Ek + kaleo. The called-out-by-Christ people of God.
Effective, Jesus-indwelt community requires individual and corporate humility. Every single person in the totality abandons themselves to the will, and ways, of God. This is Real Church. It’s a Communal Movement.
I have met community-rejecting Christians who refuse to assemble with other believers. In this, they are biblical and theological apostates, no matter how bad they were treated. They have chosen pride over humility, bitterness over forgiveness, division over reconciliation, and fear over faith.
If community-despising is in you and you don’t want to let it go, I suggest you not get a praying life. Because if you commit to praying, God will break your heart about this. This will be the initial thing God does for you. This is crucial, because his glory refuses to descend on a proud heart. Rather, God’s glory graces the humble heart.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(James 4:6) God graces and blesses the humble. This is community language.
How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the LORD ordained his blessing,
The humble, unified Jesus Community can expect to experience God’s…
Fellowship is where a lot of the action happens. Community is where humility and glory touch. Be praying for your Jesus Community, and your place in it.
(From John Piippo, Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God, Kindle Locations 3145-3171)