Oct 30, 2009
Most of us don’t like to feel “needy”. We’re a self-sufficient lot, able to deal with much of what life throws at us pretty well, thank you. Sure, having friends and folks around is nice, but we’re OK solo, too. We can make it on our own, if need be. Or at least with Jesus.
Me and Jesus, that’s it. We don’t actually need anybody else.
Except, we actually do. Need each other, that is. Even back when Adam and God had a perfect relationship, and without sin in the world, God said that it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone. Apparently the idea that me and Jesus is good enough is actually not a biblically supported concept. And neither is “take it or leave it” community.
You know the kind- where I drift in and out at my convenience, offering my thoughts and ideas when I see fit and spending time with others when that seems attractive. But in a day in which I can order any possible thing online, can shut out the world on my I pod or TV, when I can do almost anything solo, the idea of true and deep community seems kind of foreign. Tragically, far too many people today are trying to make life work by themselves and failing miserably- hence the title of Robert Putnam’s book: Bowling Alone. What a picture- no league or team of buddies- just you at the alley, throwing a ball in silence.
Christians at one time were known for the depth and care of their community. We’ve been (and are, in some places) the kind of family to one another that is both inclusive and inviting to all, including strangers, the poor, the marginalized and the outsiders. Our care for others and one another stood out in a world that is often harsh and exclusive.
I think we need to keep working at this one. You might feel like you’re doing OK at this- you have enough friendships to feel satisfied. But let me ask: Who in your world needs community? Who needs to be called, to be invited over for dinner or out to coffee? Who might be lonely or disconnected, eating a reheated meal by themselves, quietly drowning in loneliness?
Or, even closer to home- look around you at our Chrio Gathering. Who might be feeling “on the outside” of things? Who might love to be invited out to lunch or to spend time with you and your friends?
We need each other- that’s not a sign of weakness. Just an indication that we’re human, which is a good thing.