Take in these powerful words by POPE XVI
“The human being develops when … his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator… It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth, but by placing himself in relation with others and with God.”
God created us to live in community, in connection with others.
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
In the very beginning, God said it was not good for Adam to be alone. He saw a void in him. Adam had God, so how was he alone? This was before the fall, before sin. Adam was perfect! Yet, God recognized his need for another counterpart. But I’ve heard it said many times that if I have God I don’t need anybody else. This is not the case. God is a God of community. He told Adam in so few words, “Adam, you were created in my image to be like me..but you can’t be like me until you are in community. You’ll never realize your potential and purpose alone. You need to be connected to another.”
You see, God revealed His will for us to be a community. Not only will we need Him, we will need each other. No matter your net worth, your achievements, or the amount of hobbies you occupy your time with by yourself…not even God Himself is a substitute for good ol’ human relationships. Community is a big deal to God. God’s nature is community. He exists as 3 persons, operating in total common unity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one in heart, mind and soul. This is the reason why God referred to Himself by saying,”Let US make man in our image and likeness.”The trinity or Godhead are three persons in one. It is God’s desire that humanity will grow and also become one. Belonging to a community is a fundamental need we all crave because we were created in His image and likeness.
We exist and live at our best in community with people. We know today that can be an uneasy thing especially in the city I live, New York City. People have walls up, masks on and do whatever it takes to avoid people in the hopes of not being confronted, hurt or disappointed. This only hurts us more. We need leaders today to challenge friends, followers and others to pursue building authentic & healthy communities in Christ. What does that look like? What are the building blocks of healthy community? What impact can community development have in our world today amidst the bigger issues in life?
I believe the foundation of community is LOVE. It’s the glue that brings us all together in trust, harmony, acceptance and celebration. To know the love of Christ allows us the chance to experience the “fulness of God.” I believe that fulness is discovered only in the essence of community. We’ll explore some more in the next post!
What do you think are some of the elements that build healthy community? Please share, I’m curious!
- How Lordship Changes Everything (theologyaspoetry.wordpress.com)
- Seek Out Community in Your Own Apartment Neighborhood (apartmentguide.com)
- The growing religious challenge to Enlightenment values (choiceindying.com)
- How Could I Ever Doubt? (breathedeeply.org)