There we sat. Three couples. One, we know well because we’ve been sharing life with them for a while now. They’re like family to us. The other, we’ve only begun the friendship, but we can tell it’s full of heart and neighborly living. It was a fun evening of laughing, ignoring children, honest (but, interrupted) conversation, and discoveries about who we are.
This is how community happens. Over meals. Through sharing. In time together. With new and old friends.
There we sat. A body of believers gathered in a circle. With one family new, bravely exposing their pain. Their uniqueness. Their exhaustion. Their need to feel welcomed. Their desire to trust in the Lord. And we offered to God and one another our open hearts, words of praise, prayerful spirits and listening ears.
This is how community happens. By gathering to worship. In receiving the new. Through vulnerability. With the sharing of our stories. Through the confessing of our hurts. Through a fellowship of shared faith.
There we sat. Two friends. Feet propped up, embracing rest instead of finishing tasks. Her friendship priceless, her voice important to me. And we talked of children and new journeys and past stories and curiosities. And we discussed the consequences and blessings of boundaries that care for you and learning to be available in ways that grow and stretch you.
This is how community happens. In real conversations. Through choosing relationship over work. By seeing both sides of issues. With mutual learning and growing. Through an enduring friendship.
Community is the environment of grace where we live out our faith. Where we relate and fellowship with Christ as our center. Where we struggle to understand. Where we are strengthened to face brokenness. Where we are motivated to engage the world. Where we hope together. Where we discover new possibilities.
Community is God’s love, manifested through people. It’s what everyone is searching for. And it starts with you. You, choosing to be received. You, holding your hands out in welcome. You, investing in people to build it. You, sharing with others the one you have. You, being served. You, serving others.
Together, we are an environment that hosts the Spirit of God for this big wide world to taste and see his goodness.
With school beginning and calendars filling, with tasks increasing and activities growing, make room for community to happen in and through you.