It is in community where we both give and receive. I think we have the best chance to be transparent and whole when in a small Christian group. I believe we can expect to ENCOUNTER God in context of being with God’s people.
“When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening” Leviticus15:19.
During October, we are focusing on Jesus’ encounter with the woman who had a 12-yearbleeding issue (Matthew 9:18-22). Her ongoing blood flow would have impeded her normal experience of community for a long time. She may not have been regarded as a leper, but she certainly was not a full part of her community because of this issue. She had spent all her money futilely on doctors to cure her because she wanted community! Praise the Master – he cured her and sent her back into the arms of her people.
What a pertinent topic for us these days. I watch NFL football and see the stands are post-covid filled – cheek to jowl. The Dallas Cowboys averaged 93,370 in attendance for their first two games. And yet churches all over struggle along with 50% of pre-covid numbers in the house??
Sometimes we move to a new city and the new church is so different from the former one –it’s hard to get in the groove. Sometimes our health declines and it’s hard to get out to service. Sometimes we stay away from the Christian community because in some way, like the woman, we feel we are unclean. A Greek word used many times in the New Testament is eklego, which means to be chosen out of kindness, favor, and love. It contains the idea of the people of God – chosen by God to be together (Ephesians 1:4 ‘he CHOSE us in him before the creation of the world…’ 1:11 ‘In him we were also CHOSEN…’) The makers of famous Lego blocks used this word to signify blocks that are selected to build something together and the above picture shows how we the church are the ones chosen to be together in a community noted by kindness and love. A truly holy person will not practice the Christian life in solitude but with the people of God. It is in community where we both give and receive. I think we have the best chance to be transparent and whole when in a small Christian group. I believe we can expect to ENCOUNTER God in context of being with God’s people. How are you doing with Christian community? Have you pulled back because sometimes it is awkward or too much work? Let me challenge you to reengage with the local Body of Christ. Then look for God to encourage and refine you in that context! ~Pastor Leon Throness