A man once told me he was getting a lot out of Sunday worship but stopped coming. “That makes no sense, why would you stop something you’re enjoying?”, I asked. He replied, “I feel awkward around people. I’d rather stay home.” No way would I accept that. “Then you can’t go to heaven,” I said, “because there’s going to be a lot of people there.”
John the Apostle wrote “Anyone who does not love his brother or sister whom he HAS seen cannot love God, whom he has NOT seen” (1 John 4:20). In other words, there’s only one love. It has many manifestations, but love is a single force from a single source. Christians know the source and therefore we’re uniquely able to create community. It’s not hard to do, and it’s truly satisfying.
Whatever inhibitions we bring to community, they melt in the warmth of the Holy Spirit moving between us. If there’s social awkwardness (and there often is), we learn to relax and be accepted. If there’s interpersonal conflict (and there often is), we gently work it through and become closer. If there’s political polarization (and there often is), we set it aside because grace feels better than being right. If there are cultural differences (and there often are), we are surprised how easy it is to overcome them when the Spirit touches us.
Don’t you wish you had more friends? Or are you content with binge-watching Friends on TV? Don’t settle for that. It’s like settling for hamburger when you can have steak.
Wednesday Community starts again on September 15. Dinner is provided and Nancy and I will be leading discussion on Tony Evans’ video series “The Power of Knowing God.” The videos are short and the study content simple so we can focus on discussion and sharing. The goal is connection. It’s not hard to do, and it’s truly satisfying.