Television, alcohol, work, Facebook, drugs, internet, books, hobbies, texting, shopping. The list could go on and on. Transparency, honesty, vulnerability, commitment, trust, openness. The list could go on and on. These two lists are related. The first list contains some of the ways we try to replace genuine community. The second list is both our fears of and the reasons to be in an authentic faith community.
Being together in an authentic faith community allows us to feel connection to God and to each other. In community we can experience hope, love,mercy, forgiveness. In community our faith comes alive. From this strength gained in community, we can see the Word of Life alive in our world.
We can see Christ alive in many ways. We can taste it in the meal lovingly prepared for a family in need. We can hear it in the laughter of a small child who has found joy in a gift. We can touch it as we accept the hand extended in friendship or in the hand reaching out for forgiveness.
To be fully alive in Christ and to see Him actively engaged in our world. we must at times et aside the lures and cares of the world to invest both in our personal faith and in the community of faith. We must be willing to risk ourselves as we enter into genuine community with one another as the body of Christ. We must be willing at times to give or serve when we really do not feel like it or think it an inconvenience. But the more we choose to be alive in Christ, the greater our joy and love becomes. Jesus Christ overcame the world with love. This too is the path we are called to walk. Christ alone is the way, the truth, and the life.
Scripture reference: 1 John 1: 1-4