Tuesday night was one of those hot nights with no breeze indoors, and the eyes were getting just a little bit droopy as we were just getting used to a week with little sleep. But in the midst of the blanket of snooze that was slowly being laid over us...we heard a great message from Bishop Thomas on community.
He reminded us that Unity is not always positive in and of itself. Unity has led to some pretty awful things, in fact. But it can, and offers to be, a great asset, especially in the body of Christ, and the coming Kingdom. Thomas reminded us of some common myths about "Community":
1. Community is made of all similar people. (there is beauty in the diversity found in the whole)
2. Community happens when others love ME. (everyone is loved, how can I contribute?)
3. Community is destroyed when someone messes up. (there is strength in forgiveness, & restoration)
4. Community happens naturally, without effort. (Genuine community is built and worked at, with the Holy Spirit and the resolve of God's People.)
5. Community includes hierarchy. (all members are indispensable and valued highly)
He then pointed us to the verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 13, that LOVE is what enables True community. Binds it all together in perfect Unity. That definitely puts us in check, if we've complained at all recently about the groups we are a part of lacking genuine community. When is the last time we purposefully involved ourselves in bringing love to where there was none within' our group?
And not just huggy, warm-fuzzy, smiles and hand shakes kinda love. But correcting, revealing, Christ-centered, unafraid, all-encompassing, enemy as much as friend....Love. May we see places to be Love's presence in our communities this week...knowing that Unity comes as we Love...and allow ourselves to be Loved...
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