We Were Built for It (Introduction)
Happy last Wednesday in July!
One week ago today a team from Crossroads Community Church left Nicaragua after a great, nine day long trip. In reflecting on the trip, there are many takeaways and life values that could be drawn from our time. Whether it is loving people in our everyday life the way we loved the kids of the Puente de Amistad orphanage, or living in and enjoying the moment instead of constantly worrying about what is next. One could also take away the importance of sharing the abundance that God has given us with people who have very little, or, from the resurfacing of the kitchen cabinets at the orphanage, that something that looks old and ready to be thrown away can be made beautiful. All of these thoughts are applicable to our trip, however, to me, the one point that defines our trip more than any other is the value of community. I think, in our heads, we all know that community is very important, but it doesn’t necessarily play out that way on a daily basis. In our everyday life, many times we feel isolated and in a community of one. It was very different on our trip to Nicaragua. Despite the fact that we were twenty-two people from different families and different backgrounds, we interacted as if we had known each other for years. Even with the kids who live in a different country and speak a different language, there was a sense of community and a bond that I rarely experience on a daily basis. Not only did this make for a smooth trip, it also brought a sense of joy that was contagious. Being in a community like this reminded me how much we are built for it and how a community focused around Christ is very powerful. For this reason, over the next few weeks, I will be exploring this idea of community and how it applies to our lives and what I am doing in Nicaragua.
This concept of community is not new. In fact, if we go all the back to the story of Creation in the Bible we can see that God himself lives in community. Genesis 1:26 says, “The God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'” (NIV) In God referencing “our” he is speaking of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The mystery of God being three in one is beyond our understanding, but we can see that there was community and, that because we were created in His image, we were created for community as well. If we go a little further in Genesis, we can read how God and man had community and were in relationship. When sin entered the world, this relationship was damaged and the sense of community along with it. If we read through the Gospels, we can see how Jesus created a community amongst his followers, especially his disciples. He then instructed them to make this a hallmark of how they lived and to love people the same way. We can see this lived out in the forming of the first church in Acts 2, where they cared for each other and were united behind one cause, Christ. Further along, in Hebrews chapter 10 verses 24 and 25 we are told to spur each other on and to not give up meeting together, but to encourage one another. Community isn’t something God calls us to if we “get around to it”, but is something that should define our lives, our churches and Christ Followers as a whole.
I hope you will check in over the next few weeks as we examine this idea of community and the difference it can make, not just on a mission trip but in our everyday lives and the world in which we live.