The Church: Community

The Church: Community

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.”

Genesis 2:18

If God says it’s not good for man to be alone, then it seems like it’s probably not good for us to be alone! No matter where you fall on the social hermit to social butterfly scale, you’re still wired to be relational. You may be wired differently as an introvert or extravert, but you need people. In fact, isolation and lack of people leads to many negative impacts such as stress, heart disease, obesity, depression, reduced immune system, and more. Recent studies are showing that rates of loneliness are on the rise and with impacts of isolation due to quarantining for Covid-19; we shouldn’t be at all surprised in the increased mental health needs in our communities.

Turns out God was right, it’s not good for man to be alone.

Scripture tells us a lot about the body of Christ, also known as the church, in Ephesians:

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Ephesians 4:4-7

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Ephesians 4:15-16

We have a relational God. He’s a triune God; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and what is amazing is that even though He is three in one; each person has a distinct role. The Church simply reflects this beautiful trinity of relationship. Christ came to reconcile us back to God (Colossians 1) and then Christ was put as head over the body which is held together by the Spirit (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:20-23; 1 Corinthians 12:13). The Spirit fills each of us and gave us unique gifts or roles to build up the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12).

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13

I’ve read a lot of scripture about the parts of the Body and spiritual gifts, and I’ve noticed that there’s a not a single one that says the Spirit equipped you with a special gift and wants you to keep it to yourself. Our Spirituals gifts are for others, for the Church. That’s why it’s so important for us to be a part of a Christian community. We can’t do church alone; all scriptures say completely the opposite. We were made one in the baptism of the Spirit and when we refuse to be a part of the Church community, we are directly disobeying how God informs us to live.

I get it and we’ve al thought of the same excuses, people are awfully human and sinful after all. It’s not exactly easy to be in relationship others and we’ve all had an experience when we felt let down by a Church or people in our Church. Those feelings of betrayal, hurt, anger, sadness, etc are all real emotions, but they still don’t negate the truth of Scriptures. Keep trying, keep pushing forward and use your Spiritual gifts to bless others.

Like any spiritual discipline, building community can take practice until it feels natural. There are many days I spend thinking about what other Christians (or my Church) should be doing for me, yet the question needs to instead be: how can I use my unique gifts to build up the body of Christ. When I live out this question, I undoubtedly always feel more fulfilled in my relationship with God and others. When we fulfill our role in the body, we undoubtedly feel more fulfilled with our lives, for we are living as God intended us to be.

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