Sunday, May 16, 2010
God, as He often does, has introduced another reoccurring theme in my life. From multiple angles different concepts tend to repeat themselves in the effort that what He is trying to teach me penetrates this thick skull. This time, it's the idea of community.
Lesson 3 of Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane's How People Change workbook focuses on importance for Christians to live in community: "But these are some of the very reasons why community is such a big part of God's plan to transform us into the image of Christ. The more we understand our own hearts, the more we see that it takes a work of God's grace to transform self-absorbed individuals into a community of love. Being in a community shows us our need for change and helps bring it about." (pg 3.5)
So what am I doing to pursue community? I guess I have to first decide what that means; what is the type of community that God is calling me to be part of?
First it must be gospel-centered. It's not a social group that only gets together for the Jaguar games (when they're not blacked out) nor simply gets together to scrap book, then, in either case, closes in a quick prayer. One of the purposes of the community must be to speak the gospel to and into each other continually. This world distracts my attentions and affections away from God too easily. We need to be refreshed by the gospel repeatedly, reminded that, yes, I was a sinner at enmity with God, but by the selfless obedience of His Son, by His shedding of Blood and Death on the Cross, by His Conquering of the grave, His Resurrection, I am saved. Hallelujah! As a good friend once shared with me, we have a thirst for Christ. A marathon runner does not simply have one of sip of water at the beginning of the race, hoping to complete it, but instead seeks replenishment continually throughout the race. We are to hold out that cup for each other.
More on community soon.