The beauty of small towns is you feel like you’re a part of something. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a stadium on Friday nights and it’s like everyone there is your neighbor, your friend, your family or co-worker? Maybe you played in this town on Friday nights and you remember what it felt like to line up in front of your hometown and represent them for four quarters. It was that feeling of being a part of a community. That’s what we often call smaller towns such as ours. They aren’t cities or towns but communities of people. Different thoughts, different views, different backgrounds, but one community.
This week at 602 and Small Groups we talked about communities. To an extent…our kids get it. They are surrounded by this community at all times however they are never truly taught what community is and the purpose of it.
Maybe our students think community is bitterness. In close tight knit towns often there is hurt, and grudges and lack of forgiveness. So they become cold to relationships and burn every bridge that ever existed instead of reconciling relationships. Maybe they see a community that is built on shallow “hellos” and not messy relationships. Relationships that love and hurt and forgive and wrong and right each other.
But we talked about our community being a reflection of who God is and coming into contact with God through our communities. That when we see Christian community we don’t necessarily see perfect and flawless people, but rather loving and forgiving people who believe in reconciliation.
My wife has never met and will never meet my mother. Due to losing her to cancer at the age of 18 my mom was never around when I met the woman I now call bride. Yet, in my every day life, Haley reminds me of the things my mom loved and would want for me. But how does she know that? How does she know anything about my mom? How dare she claim to know a woman she never met?
Because Haley has spent time with my brothers and sister. She has spent time with my dad. She has spent time with me and heard the stories and the memories and because she has spent time in a community created and raised by my mom, she knows my mom.
So what does your community say about God? Is it a community founded in the person and work of Jesus? Is it messy and hard? Is it teaching you about Jesus and pushing you toward Jesus and a place of refuge?
These are the questions we need to answer about our community, about our homes, and about ourselves.