I believe we all need to relearn how to live together. Living together isn’t the same thing as living your life while being in the same area as another. I think anyone could do that. All you have to do is be centered around yourself and live your life for you. But that is NOT community! Look at the word. The Latin prefix com means together. Together is closely, collectively, as one, and united. It is not apart, separately, or individually. So many people today live individually and think they are living “together”. It is the way many of us were raised, but as a body of believers we MUST break that mold and truly come together. Look at Acts 2:42-47. It talks of the early Church being a unified body of believers. They shared in everything, helping every member of the body.
N.T. Wright writes in Acts for Everyone: Part One, “The earliest Christians lived as a single family. When you live together as a family under one roof, you don’t see this chair, this table, this bottle of milk, this loaf of bread, as ‘mine’ rather than ‘yours’. The breadwinners in the household don’t see the money they bring in as ‘theirs’ rather than belonging to the whole household. That’s part of what it means to be family.”
The early believers had it right. Today, Christians commonly refer to ourselves as a body of believers. That’s ONE body. But if we look at it, how untrue is that statement. How can we call ourselves a unified body, when we consciously make decisions to not help a brother or sister because it might not benefit us or it might be uncomfortable for us?
And I’m calling myself out. I’m awful at this. I see where I can help, but I don’t because it would upset my little world. I choose to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to make sure my life isn’t interrupted. But I would never do this to my biological family, so why would I even consider doing it to my spiritual family?
This is why I am in Georgia. I’m relearning what it means to live together, and through that I am learning for the first time what it truly means to have brothers and sisters in Christ. And just like a biological family we have our share of fights and flaws, but at the end of the day, we love each other. And that’s what matters the most.
So although community can be defined in numerous ways, I believe community is family-nothing more and nothing less.