March 20, 2020
Imagine a place where steel meets earth. A place where the structures are dangerous yet exhilarating. A time when life was simpler, and your biggest problems seem like a cake walk now.
What are you thinking of?
I’m thinking of the playground at CLES: Christina Lake Elementary School. The place where my fascination of Pogs, Crazy Bones, and Red Rover was forged in the crucible of the lack of technology (look ‘em up, it’ll give you something else to make fun of me for).
A time when life was easy and the worst thing you had to deal with was getting lit up by the big kid while playing touch football.
But do you know what made those days so sweet? Community.
It was a place where you did life with each other. Where your friends were your best friends and you looked forward to hanging out and conquering whatever next adventure you dreamed up as you jumped the fence into the trailer park that backed your school… okay, maybe my school was a little more redneck than yours… whatever. I digress.
The Bible tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
When we’re living in unity with the people around us it feels so right, doesn’t it? Why? It’s because that’s the way God made us: to live together and have fun while doing it.
BUT THAT’S NOT IT
Being in close proximity to others isn’t enough. It’s the bonds created through service and faith that create true Christian community. It’s the times when our relationship with God intersect with our relationship with others that we experience the Holy Spirit in a fresh way.
The book of Acts in the New Testament tells the story of the early church and how they laid the foundation for the next two thousand (and hopefully many more) years.
We read in Acts 2:46-47, “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, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
It was through true Christian community that God began to add THOUSANDS of people to his kingdom.
Come on, can I get a hallelujer?
So let me ask us two questions:
1) Is our community with other believers so attractive that others are coming to know Jesus because of it?
2) What can we do about community when we have to isolate ourselves?
The first is a matter of being more intentional about your relationships with other believers. Let me ask a few more questions… when was the last time you asked a friend how you could be praying for them? When did you ask them about their relationship with God? How do you bridge the gap between talking about The Office (the greatest tv show ever made… fight me) and some topic of faith?
These are things that will begin to culminate into meaningful relationships and friend groups that others will want to be a part of.
The second… well, now’s a great time to overcome some of those old habits because you’ve got some time. Plus, in light of the reality we find ourselves in, people are asking big life questions. Capitalize on that!
Call up a friend (eww… “call someone, are you like 50?” – no I’m not, but seriously, try it, it’s not that bad), Skype or facetime someone, shoot a text, or whatever other messaging system you use and do this:
Shift the conversation from topical to meaningful
It’s a small shift but it’s amazing what it can do. You may just learn something about your friend, or you may end up learning something about yourself. Either way, it’s better than just going through the same old drudgery of sharing memes and laughing about nonsense (PS. There’s NOTHING wrong with that – but there’s something VERY wrong with ONLY doing that).
Oh, and before I go. Don’t be weird about it. Respect that some people might not be at the same place as you. Start slowly, ask them what you could pray about, ask them how their family is doing, or just ask them how they’re doing – like how they’re really doing.
I think that if we start to do this type of thing, the big scary world we live in will start to feel a little more like a school yard playground instead of a prison.
Much love familia, peace ✌️