“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19, ESV).
The Christian faith is not a solitary journey. From its early days, believers have come together to form a closely-knit spiritual community, providing support and encouragement for one another. The Book of Acts illustrates this: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…And all who believed were together and had all things in common.” (Acts 2:42, 44, ESV)
In this type of community, believers can find solace, comfort, and a shoulder to lean on during challenging times. Paul emphasizes this when he says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, ESV) In a community of faith, we can rely on one another to help navigate life’s storms.
Moreover, community allows for personal and spiritual growth. As the wise words of Proverbs teach us, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17, ESV) Through healthy relationships and interactions within a Christian community, we can learn and mature in our faith.
Additionally, being part of a community offers the opportunity to use our unique gifts for the benefit of others. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27, ESV) Each of us has been endowed with talents and abilities that can be employed to serve others in our community.
Finally, our communal life serves as a testament to the world of God’s love. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, ESV) Our love for one another within the community offers tangible evidence of God’s love at work in our lives.
While building and maintaining a Christian community is not without its challenges, the rewards of such a community far outweigh the difficulties. Through mutual support, spiritual growth, and the sharing of our gifts, we can create a powerful and nurturing environment for all believers.
Let us embrace the call to be part of a community that nurtures, strengthens, and bears witness to God’s love. After all, as members of God’s household, we are called to live out our faith together.