Finding Hope: Value of Community

Jim KallamBy Jim Kallam5 Minutes

One of the things that this last year and a half of the pandemic has taught us is some words that we really are ready to no longer hear anymore. Words like “shelter in place.” Words like “quarantine or isolate.” They’re hard words, not only because of the reality that’s going on in the world around us. They’re hard words, I believe, because they violate the very way that God created us and designed us.

He created us for community. He designed us for community and that’s one of the things that has been taken from us. I think about churches all over this country, all over the world, that could no longer meet in person, or they are just starting maybe to come back and meet in person. But even when they come back and meet in person, people are wearing masks and you can’t even see half of someone’s face. That’s hard. Oh God’s word can still go out and we have the beauty of technology that we’re using here today. And I’m grateful for technology. And I’m grateful for those things that we can do.

But nothing takes the place of being in community. That is how God designed us. When we think about being designed in the image of God there are a lot of things that people can say, “Well, it means this and it means that.” But one of the things I think is overlooked so many times is the design for community. Why? Because He’s a triune God. Father, Son and Spirit live in perfect harmony, in perfect community. They have for all of eternity. And they will for all of eternity.

The author of Hebrews says in that powerful book, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” That’s what we do in each other’s lives. We think really hard about how we can stir the life of Christ in another person.

But the next verse says this. “Don’t neglect meeting together as is the habit of some. But encourage one another and all the more as you see the day coming.” Don’t neglect meeting together. And I don’t think that’s just a formal church service. That could be two, or three, or four, or half a dozen believers who gather together. Why? Because they have the ability to instill in each other and stir in each other the life of Christ.

As you wrestle through life going back to maybe the way it once was – or maybe it never will – what I long for you to realize is that you have a powerful role in the lives of other people. You, not a pastor. Not a formal clergy man. But you have the ability to stir in the life of another human being, in the life of another follower of Jesus, the very life of Christ to love and to good deeds.

Don’t forsake getting together with other believers because it’s in that power of community that God longs for us to be with one another. My hope and my prayer as you are able to go back to church – to your church, or maybe you’re looking for a church – that you’ll find a church where believers can come together and encourage one another in the days that we face right now.

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