The word "community" is an over-used word. I can't tell you how many times I have heard it and said it in the last week. And honestly, I think that I have lost all understanding for what the word truly means. Or worse yet, did I ever really know what it means?
com·mu·ni·ty Sharing, participation, and fellowship.
At least that's one definition (for the full definition, click here).
"Sharing, participation, and fellowship." Sharing in life, participating in life, fellowshipping in life. I can't help but think that we do few of those well. We seem to be very good at putting up the pretense of "community," but how much of that is true in your life grit? How much do our online communities, political communities, lifestyle communities, neighborhood communities, and church communities really mean that I am in your life--I know your stories, you know my stories, we weep together, we laugh together, we provide meaningful relationship for one another that doesn't allow for us to be lonely in a world full of easy-to-find, easy-accessess, one-step community trials?
Being as my thoughts are not fully wrapped around this subject yet, it might be best to lead you to an article that presents the subject much better than I can. Mike Cope recently wrote an article for Christian Standard on the subject that you can read here.
Mostly, I guess what I am saying is that I personally want to be better about community and building community.
Lord, help me to be a person that knows people. That I know what makes them laugh and what makes them cry. That I share what makes me laugh and what makes me cry. That I know their stories--the stories that make them who they are. And that they know my stories. Father, teach me the meaning of community and show me how to share, participate, and fellowship within community. Amen.