fostering community

When Tiersa and I were in High School I’d walk her to class whenever I could.  If only for a few steps we would walk together in the same direction and talk just for a few seconds.  I seem to remember a time or two that I was sent to the principal’s office for having been late too often because I lingered too long at the door of Tiersa’s class and failed to make it through the door of my next class before the bell.  Ok, maybe it was more than a time or two….

There were also those times when there was no way to walk together.  No time to talk.  We were going in opposite directions.  And so we’d pass notes.  Any way to communicate and to stay connected during the day.

In many ways we are the most connected generation to date.  Some would argue with that statement.  But the means for communication are more abundant today than they have ever been in generations past.  Nothing takes the place of face-to-face communication.  But think of all the means by which we communicate.  Telephones.  Cell phones.  Email.  Snail mail.  iPhones.  iPads.  iPods.  iCecream (just wanted to see if you were paying attention).  You can text, tweet, and blog, and if you’re really good you can do all three, simultaneously.  For the longest time I said that I wasn’t going to get on Facebook until it was no longer in vogue.  But eventually I started drinking the Kool-Aid.  When it comes to means of communication we are the most connected generation to date.

However in spite of mass communication and technological advancements in the ease of staying connected, many today still have no close friends.  No one to whom they are near.  Acquaintances?  Sure.  But no real friends.  In a sea of humanity of nearly 7 billion many feel hopelessly adrift and alone.

Depression thrives in an environment of isolation.  So does Satan.

God exists in community.  Father, Son, and Spirit.  We are created in the image of God.  Spiritually.  We are spiritual beings.  As well, we are created to exist in community.  With God.  And with one another.  A great part of why God has given us to one another as His church is that we commune with Him and with one another.  We share life.

We are in need of recapturing the communal nature of faith (not Communion with a big “C” but rather communion – although too often we lose the communal nature of Communion as we come to the table).

As Christians I believe the answer is two fold:

First, we seek out closeness with God and closeness with one another.  We pursue closeness with God and His church.  It must be our priority.

And second, we seek out those who are struggling.  Those who are disconnected from God and/or other believers.  Those who are lonely.  Those who are adrift.  And we pursue avenues in which we might foster community (with God and His church) in their life.

Glory to God!


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