by Rob Campbell
Thanks Joel for the excellent post yesterday on a very real experience in your cell gathering that led you to write on community. We extend our prayers to Celyce and your family in the loss of her father. We are also grateful for his conversion to Christ in his final years. We commit to pray now and in the days ahead.
Let me share a few thoughts about community. Indeed, “community” has become a buzz word of late in many churches. Indeed, some simply talk of community, but never experience the essence of community. I’ve listened to many pastors elaborate on community, but never taste its joy, intimacy, and transparency. Others experience community week in and week out to which we give thanks to God.
Years ago, I ran across this definition of spiritual community. I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I do not remember the source of these words. The author was eloborating on spiritual community in the context of Acts 2:42-47.
He/She writes: “[Spiritual] Community is revolutionary, designed for any society or age; subjects are loved, nurtured and protected; everyone has distinct gifts, yet differences bring people together; anyone can be included, yet each person is irreplaceable; unconditional love abounds, but also uncompromising accountability; a center of joy, celebration and worship; one big happy family.”
In essence, we need God and each other– don’t we? Mother Teresa once said, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.”
May our desire for such community be more than talk and words on a page. May it be expressed through our actions.
I trust that Celyce will not soon forget her cell community grieving with her. Yes, their presence will be cherished in the days ahead.