Monday, July 23, 2012
"And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." Acts 2:44-47
Dieterich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor and theologian, described Christian community this way -
"Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this. Whether it be a brief, single encounter or the daily fellowship of years, Christian community is only this. We belong to one another only through Jesus Christ. What does this mean? It means, first, that a Christian needs others because of Jesus Christ. It means, second, that a Christian comes to others only through Jesus Christ. It means, third, that in Jesus Christ we have been chosen from eternity, accepted in time, and united for eternity."
(from Life Together, by Dieterich Bonhoeffer, 1954)
From these descriptions we see that Christian community is a place where Christ-followers become the hands and feet of Jesus. It is where we serve, love, and care for others in the name of Christ whether we have a brief encounter with them or a lifetime relationship. Christian community becomes a way of life.
Isaiah 58: 11-12 describes the strength we get and the benefits we receive when we live in Christian community.
11 The LORD will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.
Let’s be mindful of living in community wherever we are.