42 Every believer was faithfully devoted to following the teachings of the apostles. Their hearts were mutually linked to one another, sharing communion[c] and coming together regularly for prayer.
Acts 2:42 The Passion Translation
If Christ is truly present with us, then the community of believers must be the most remarkable people in the world. Somehow we don’t give the impression that we are. However, we must not be disappointed, if we are not as good as we would like to be. The most important thing is to keep on loving the church in spite of its flaws and failures—that is how Jesus loves us.
Sometimes, an individualistic mindset contributes to a lack of community. When we choose not to build relationships for fear of hurt or disappointment, we will miss out on deep and meaningful connections. Yes, while friendships can be painful, they are extremely rewarding and enriching.
Without genuine community, faith grows cold and pale.
The COVID pandemic posts a huge challenge for churches and individuals. The lockdowns and restrictions have disrupted many churches’ activities and believers are finding it harder and harder to stay in touch. In fact, thanks to those technological advances, many rather watch or listen to a church service now rather than attending one. This is going to be the new normal for the post covid church. In time to come, believers will experience a crisis of community unless they find new and creative ways to express and experience community.
The good thing is that we have a culture of life groups in our church and I recommend that everyone should belong to one. A life group gives you a sense of belonging with the church and a personal connection with other believers.
Community is about journeying together as adventurers to the unknown rather than trying to make sure everything is perfect before we take action. This was how the early church in Acts does community. They were always surprised by the Holy Spirit whenever they gathered together. This is often how God works in redeeming and caring for us.
Let’s be mindful that Covid is still affecting people and communities everywhere. Instead of wanting to go back to a pre-COVID life, let us find a newfound sense of community and continue to encourage each other to find new experiences of faith, worship and service. It is good to rest on what God through the Prophet Isaiah: “Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now!” (Isaiah 43.18-19)
If we truly believe God and trust His leading, we will be the most remarkable people—people will ever meet.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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