Oh–how we need it.
I almost forgot.
Richard and I have stepped into community. Sweet community. Missional community. At first as observers. It’s real. And now–stepping in further. Right now, we are one of the few married couples in this sweet community house church meeting on Monday nights. Mostly singles–75 or so–deeply committed to Jesus. Deeply committed to walking toward the cross…together.
When did we…forget?
Why would we settled for less? Not fight for this?
I remember in college. Oh–the worship. The community. The life. It was sweet. For awhile after it left–I thought…but that was college. Those were the glory days. I remember that sweet community again–on a mission trip…while living in East Asia month after month desperate to walk together with the body of Christ…and some times times visiting for a short hour with close friends when it had been too long…oh if this could just be real life I thought. But. This is life now.
We get married. We have children. We find our church. We plug ourselves in a ministry. We worship. In a “community” some times so large–so large–that no one would really miss you if you were gone. They might wonder–but it’s just too busy…the thought would be fleeting…and life would move on–but here…you stay for “community”. The worship is good. The teaching is good. They even have quarterly gatherings where you mingle–ask the same questions. How is work? Do you work? Oh–I asked that last time…forgive me. How are the kids? Do they like school? We should really get together some time. So good talking to you–I’m going to go grab coffee…and my husband…and quietly leave. Sit around the table. Another speaker. Pass around the questions. Talk amongst yourselves. Ask and answer the questions. Share. Times up. Go home. This is community—right?
Oh–how we have forgotten.
But community. Missional–deep community…where they know your heart…where you know theirs…where truth and encouragement are spoken into your soul because they know you…because they know Him. Where tears are shed as you hear–because the truth not only sets you free…but this is the truth spoken from the body of Christ–Christ in other people. And THIS. This is community. Deep community. This is where life lives deeply. Authenticity fills the air–and the lies and whispers disappear. Truth breaths refreshing exhales that took much too long to come again. And I am remembering.
Who He is.
Who I am.
Because of a real encounter with the body of Christ–active and living and alive. And without deep community…without the body of Christ…we can too easily forget.
So every other Monday night–we hire a sitter. We race down 30 minutes to the city. And we creep in this house church in the back. We breath. I wipe away my tears as I listen. Because I had no idea what I was missing. And Richard and I have a calling in our hearts to dive in. Live life in this community–and then figure out how to bring this to ours.
Tonight I was reminded. Reminded who I am in Christ. Do you remember? Like me–were you tired? Does it feel like all the “Christian” organizations around you…you have gone to hoping to find community–only to walk away…feeling lonely–like an alien…and wondering…where will I ever fit? That fish out of water complex. But oh–listen to this. You. Are. Not. A fish out of water. You are simply…simply…just maybe–out of community…missional–life-giving community. And you need it. I thought I was a fish and I’d have to just be one until I saw Jesus face to face. But in deep, real, living community–I see that is not the case at all. And I am seeing now more clearly that too much and too many are trying…but we are just missing it…missing Him.
And y’all. This is the good stuff. The real stuff. The stuff that makes you be a risk-taker. A peacemaker. Joyful. Free. Alive in Him.
He is RIGHT HERE.
Waiting. Oh how He wants us to see Him! To walk with Him! To know Him.
To get on our knees with other believers and share our hearts. To pray together. Really pray together. Share our hearts. Open our hearts. Open our lives. To worship together. To love our families together. Take risks together. TOGETHER.
We have protected our lives, our families, our children, our homes, our schedules…and we missed TOGETHER.
How the body of Christ needs to be woven so tightly–so intimately–so beautifully in every fold!
Our hearts needs this community–this deep community–what is truly the body of Christ. Hand and foot and arm and head…eyes and ears and knees and toes…every part needing the other. And really doing life–TOGETHER.
Because if not together–then the leg is missing…the arms maybe too–and then…maybe then–yes–just maybe you are that fish.
The beauty of this deep together–is how it draws me to Christ. Us to Christ. To the cross. Together.
“Follow me,” He said. And they did. Not one…not two…but many—TOGETHER.
How authentically the body of Christ draws us to His presence.
And then it all makes sense. Why He said it was the church He came for.
Why He said it was worth dying for.
This is life.
And something we will live for.
He is faithful…and I am thankful. How I want to just live through His power…in His presence…and breath this life into the lives of my children and those around me. Thank you Jesus for the living, active and beautiful body of Christ and your presence in it! May we all find this in our lives and be drawn deeper into your daily presence in our lives!!
He loves you!