We are prone to ‘religion’. We need to face it. Religion can quickly morph into meaningless and repetitive rituals – devoid of a genuine encounter with God and our brothers and sisters. Consider communion, reliving the death of Christ and celebrating the life we have in him. There was one body, one loaf broken so that we can all participate. The Lord’s Supper is not just about celebrating what was in the past, it is also about recognizing what is here today. The one body of Christ is still here. His body is you, me, it is all of us who are part of Him. Each of us different, unique and yet all the same, part of his body.
Do we celebrate Christ’s body that God has given to us? Think of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Just as the Lord’s Supper is a gift from God to us, we, the members of his body, are a gift to each other.
If I am seriously impaired and meet another - it is readily perceived. Do those on the outside see a whole and healthy body or one that is fragmented with limitations? Too often we do not join with one another – living our lives together, serving Christ together, sharing our time, energy and resources. Why don’t we join? It is often because we perceived the cost to join to be greater than the benefits. Yet, what is the cost of not joining? A disjointed body cannot function properly. And, for many on the ‘outside’, the only body of Christ they might see is the one in our midst.
Joining together is a type of communion: common union. Having common union with God is often readily understood as vital; having common union, communion/community with others can be overlooked or marginalized. When we don’t unite, we are just snacking on a wafer rather than sharing communion, the common union that he provides. Yet, it is difficult. Uniting with God allows us fellowship with him in perfect love, faithfulness and security. Uniting with others is never easy. They are as lacking as I am. And I do have shortfalls. You do as well. So, uniting is difficult.
Our Genesis Community is on one hand a foundational community for a Christian nation, yet on the other hand it is just another Kingdom Community in our region. In our Genesis Community we are learning the practice and principles of authentic community. I would like to report that I have been able to share years of experience and insight to help this occur. This is not the case. As difficulties have emerged – I and the others are learning to do what many have never done before: to participate in building authentic community. I thank God that he has brought into our midst Bill Collier, who has gone far down this road before us. It was just last Tuesday that he facilitated a watershed gathering.
What Bill showed us was both simple and profound. Whereas I know how to create rules, he showed us how to adopt and live by a standard. Whereas, I know how to enlist people to work, he helped us understand how to unite to serve each other. We entered a disparate group of people; we emerged a community with the identity of a household committed to pursuing the common good for each other and the overall community. Our walk with Christ, individually and corporately, has been strengthened. The fruit of love, grace and mercy have begun to flow from one to another in amazing and unexpected ways.
This experience, for most of us, was unlike any we have had before. It was communion: common union in a household with each other and God. Individuals from our household and connected to this Genesis Community are committing to develop resources that will help share the principles that allowed us to begin to engage in a new and deeper dimension of Kingdom Community. I will let you know when and where the resources are available!
(Note! If you respond to this thread, you will get an alert when I write about the resources!!!)
God bless you as you serve Him and each other in authentic community: common unity!