“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
God loved us so much, that He gave us His son as a living example for how to live life. By sending Jesus, He (God) took much of the guess work out of it. To observe the way in which Jesus lived life is to acquire a fairly accurate blueprint of life. From this blueprint one might notice a reoccurring theme. Jesus lived his life in, through, and with community. In fact before Jesus began his ministry, he first sought out 12 men, his disciples, to travel with. His community.
I attend house church. Here a group of about 6-8 families commune at a selected home (we rotate the role of host each week between members).
We share a potluck style meal together,
enjoy a time of worship,
partake in the bread and body of Christ,
Are led through reflection by a member,
And finally end with a time of prayer.
It is one of my favorite days of the week. This small, non-traditional, gathering of people has become a simple and tangible reminder of how to live life with the people of God.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” Acts 2: 42-47
This level of intimacy makes it very difficult to hide, which can be uncomfortable at first. Yet, one is overwhelmed by the love of Christ through the body of Christ very quickly. It is this church that when my husband and I were pregnant with our first child, a young couple, living away from both set of parents, they step in. This community blessed us with meals, gifts, and visits. They surprised us with a painted nursery and even built our sons crib. They showed up, and did it again when our second and third sons were born. It is this community that currently supplies meals, to because we’re expecting again, but simply because life is hard right now. It is in this community I feel most comfortable on the eighth dating anniversary of my husband and I, missing him. Offering no judgment or empty words, but sitting with me in the silence listening to me talk about our first date.
Living life together. The art of community. Unity, is a demonstration of Heaven on earth. It is one of the most powerful weapons against Satan.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17: 20-23
As we share in the body of Christ with one another, we unify the kingdom of God with ourselves. Therefore as one of our members sits sobbing and giving us her account on motherhood and the current depression that exists, we as a community are able to love her, and not just in words but in deed. We are tangibly able to be there for our sister having many of us experienced the same thing. Tears of sorrow quickly becomes laughter. In that moment we have united ourselves and closed the door off to the enemy that would cause her to feel alone and abandon. In this way our sister has experienced the love of Christ.
It is easy to forsake the assembly. To find excuses to void ourselves of authentic relationship and accountability. Friendships, marriage, family; community is hard. Yet friends without it we miss so much of God’s tangible love and are more susceptible to Satan’s lies and attacks. If even Jesus needed a community in order to fulfill his mission here on Earth hat does that say about how we should then live our lives? In a book I am reading, Liturgy of the Ordinary, there is a chapter on community. The author writes, “God loves and delights in the people in the pews around me and dares ,e to find beauty in them. To love His people on earth is to see Christ in them, to live among them, to receive together Word and sacrament.”
Fred Rogers, Presbyterian minister and children’s show host, once said, “You know, I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that h r she is lovable. And, consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.” So friends as we start our week I ask, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
Go be love today,
The Anonymous Wife
Check Out Today's Coffee and Conversations: The Comforter after the Storm: https://youtu.be/xtrBh1ByhmE