Today’s topic in The Meaning Series is Community (No, not the TV show). I wasn’t quite sure how to address this one, as it’s going to be a bit of a broad topic, but I think the word Community about covers it.
People need other people. It’s been this way since the Garden of Eden, when God decided to create someone for Adam to be with. Humans were not meant to live a life of solitude, we were meant to interact with other humans, forming meaningful relationships. In the modern age of the 21st century, this will likely look a little different for everyone. Studies show that Milennials are marrying much later in life, creating more of a need for creative solutions such as living with a roommate. I think we’re entering an era where the threshold to adulthood will look very different in coming years than it did in past generations; leaving the Church with questions about how to minister to their congregation.
One Bible passage that I have always loved and that I believe applies here is Matthew 12:48-50. “He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”” I believe that this is a particularly powerful and overlooked passage in the Bible. I love the idea that as Christians, we’re one big family; that all of my Christian friends are my brothers and sisters. Could you imagine what it would look like if we, in the Body of Christ, operated like this? One phenomenon that I’ve noticed at different churches throughout the years, is that we often fall into a pattern of looking like small, individual puzzles in the same box rather than one big puzzle. What if we really took the time to invest in each others lives and love each other like a family?
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m a big fan of 80’s TV shows. One thing that I’ve noticed in watching some of those shows, such as Full House, Who’s The Boss, Boy Meets World, etc., is that they really show strong examples of loving those who aren’t biologically related. On Full House, Jessie and Joey really become Uncle/Second father figures to D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle. On Who’s the Boss, Tony and Angela treat other’s kids as if they were their own. On Boy Meets World, Cory and Shawn are close enough to be brothers, with Cory’s parents treating Shawn as their own son. Not to mention that Mr. Feeny is like a grandpa to his students. What would it be like, if we as Christians looked like that? What if we saw each other: our friends, our mentors, and those younger than us, as family? Imagine the witness of Christian love this would be to the world. What if, instead of living disconnected and independent of each other, we lived in such a way that we could count on others to be there for us, and in turn, we were there for them. What if we lived out friendship and community in such a way, that we really became a family? I believe that a vital aspect of life is other people, both our biological families and those who aren’t related to us. As the song, No Man is an Island by Tenth Avenue North says “We’re not meant to live this life alone.” This may look different for you than it does for me, and yet even more different for your neighbor across the street. Nonetheless, we all need others and God calls us all to be one big family; loving each other as He loves each of us.