Last night in community group we talked about biblical community.
Biblical community consists of things like:
Meeting together regularly, practicing hospitality, praying together, sharing meals, etc...
But, it also consists of being willing to be available to others on their terms, be vulnerable with others, hurt for each other, share everything we have with one another, taking care of one another even before our own needs, loving sincerely and not just loving people to make ourselves feel good or to show off at something we're good at.
Not pretending that we have it all together but really allowing people to see the things in our hearts that are in the dark.
What things in life keep you from having true, biblical, godly community?
-Fear of man?
-Feeling like you already have enough people who you let in, and not wanting to open up to anyone else?
-Meeting with others and being excited about what it's going to do for you?
-Using community as an outlet to vent and gossip rather than actually committing things to prayer together?
-Wanting to be heard more than you want to hear?
In John, the last thing that Jesus prays to the Father about before He is arrested to be crucified, is this idea of us being in the type of community with each other that He is in with the Father. Complete unity and perfect fellowship. Y'all that is kind of profound. Think about the relationship that Jesus has with His Father. THAT is the kind of oneness He prays that we will have with one another. And with Him.
This must have been really important to Him. I mean, if I were Jesus and I were praying for Elise right before I was was about to go die for her sins, I'd probably be praying something like,
"Oh geez, Father, just forgive this girl of all the crazy things she is going to worry about.
All of the mistakes she is going to make trying to prove that her way is the best.
All of the discontent she is bound to feel in her heart when she focuses on what others have rather than on all the treasures I have in store for her.
Oh, and pleeease help her sort out her priorities when she'd rather be blogging, working, sleeping, or running than spending time with us.
She is going to be a handful. Just love her unconditionally, Father. Because, it certainly won't be conditional on anything that she's going to do..."
But, clearly I am not Jesus, and I am not going to be crucified for my sins, and I am not going to say that Jesus didn't know how to intercede for me perfectly. And for you perfectly. And, this is what he found most important to pray for us about in that moment: "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you...I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one--I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17)
The point of us having this unity with one another and with Christ, is to glorify God. So that others see this and know who we follow. We are one with each other in Christ. And by this, we are all also one with the Father.
Christ is the uniting factor here folks. He always has been. He brings together things that are completely unalike and makes them one. This is my prayer for you and your community this week.