Most any person who knows me to any degree will tell you that community is a buzz word for me. I believe churches are meant to be communities of faith, communities of shared experiences, communities of love and sacrifice.
Modern society is looking for a place to belong. What I like to call at times the Cheers of now. I think everyone remebers the TV Show Cheers. Everyone who walked into Cheers was greated by name. Thats what kept people coming back, oh well at least the characters in the show. So often this is the same thing that many people around us yearn for. People yearn to be known by name, to be cared for, loved regardless of their beliefs, hair-do, political stance. People desire to be loved the way that Christ loved Sinners.
Yes Jesus Christ loved the sinner where they were at. He did not ask them to move from where they are at. He ate with sinners. He did not accept 100% what they did, but he accepted them as what they are, a creation of our almight, all powerful savior, His Father, God.
Churches should be places where people feel accepted, loved and cared for. So often the modern church has created walls of division that make people fell unwanted and unaccepted. This is not what God would want. He wants people to be welcomed, for the love that they experience to cause them to draw closer to Him, to experience a life change that is so radical that those around them are astonished and amazed and drawn in to the wonder and awe. To experience a journey into the Love, Grace, and beauty of Christ.
The Church is supposed to create this amazing community that draws people in. I have seen at different times of my life communities that have missed the mark. Communities where people have been involved for years and leave away for school or other things and when they come back they are not even acknowledged by name, but instead feel like an outcast. Communities where people are pushed away becasue of their sin, lifestyle, or even worse yet, something that does not even matter, their clothing or hair-do.
So, what does this mean for us. We are the body of Christ and should be His Hands, Feet, and love to those around us. We are called to be the living expression of who the most high God is. We are to be community to those around us. With acceptance, love and a willingness to be there for those around us.
This might be repetative of my previous writings, but each day is a new day, and so the thoughts must be expressed.