The Word of God is clear on the importance of living in Community. Though the word, “community” has become a buzzword of late, it is not a new principle. The Word states, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” Ecc. 4:9-12, ESV. We are created for connection. The church is more than a building: it is meant to be community.
Living in the midst of a pandemic with lockdowns promotes isolationism. In reality, this is only heightens a characteristic of an individualistic culture. We are so busy, over-programmed, and prone to isolation, we have lost the art of living life together. Often, many would run into church and leave immediately after the service ends, missing every opportunity to connect with others. Why do we complain when we do not feel connected to our church family?
What does Connection look like?
Connection looks as different as there are people! It can involve gatherings of two or three people or large groups. I thank God for the ability to see my jewels online through the gift of technology: I am grateful for zoom! As an introvert, this is right up my alley. Living during a pandemic, this is even important for the safety and health of others in our circle. The need for connection remains even with difficulties.
There is a few characteristics of connection and community. One aspect of a healthy community is unity in their faith in Jesus. A community under the banner of Christ will display love for others. The Christ-centered community will display itself with diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and individual stories but, will all be servants of Jesus.
Another aspect is, it is not age related. A Jesus focused connection will included all ages. His grace and love is not singled out for just one group. All are welcome! Our differences in age, our perspectives may be different due to our age-related points of view, this will only add spice and wisdom to the community. A God-centered connection is not limited to one age group! In a culture that focuses on separating people into distinct groups whether by age, heritage, socio-economic status, and even educational training, but Jesus calls the only requirement is faith in Him alone!
We need connection!
Even though we are living during a time where finding human connection is difficult, even restricted in some cases, we still need connection. We need human touch. We are seeing a rise in mental health illness rising during our isolation. And social media, though can be used for good, is not always the best answer. Comparison can be harmful and even a lie. Idle time online can lead to over spending and listening to fictious content. An over indulgence to the news media can be overwhelming and breeds mistrust due to the constant opinions and lack of truth being shared. All this leads to isolation and a lack of connection.
In it no wonder why we feel stressed, overwhelmed, and even angry. As Christians, we have been given access to the Father through Jesus Christ. We have access to the One who is called our Prince of Peace. Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit, our Comforter. Our community should look different! We are not promised to live a trouble free life, but we are given the Prince of Peace, and His church, another name for His community, to walk through the troubles together where we find that He is an ever-present Help in the time of trouble (Psalm 121:1-2).
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in His love,