The community of faith is a special thing, or at least it is supposed to be. Its an environment of trust and genuine concern for one another. An environment where needs are met and Jesus shines brightly as the body works together functioning as a unit. We have in Church Life, this thing called Spiritual Community. Its made up of a few areas that make for people feeling welcome in an open and worshipful atmosphere, but more importantly there is CARE that takes place. If you want to really see how spiritual a community is, don\’t look at the Sunday morning attendance records, check the attending records of Monday thru Saturday. Its a place where the truth of the body of Christ is revealed. Its also the place where the most brutal hurts and violent attacks take place within a church. Its an area that we in the church are clearly not good at. We are good with making visitors feel welcomed and good at \”get-togethers\” where food is involved, but what about the things that matter? What about the places of a persons heart where darkness keeps them in bondage as they slowly drift around thinking they are flying solo in a spiritual walk that is supposed to be filled with runners encouraging one another to press through and push further for greater things? Sometimes we grade ourselves successful because we have people come to our gatherings outside church. But the truth of success is not found in how many show up at a bbq, it is found in how many people are being touched on a daily basis by the the body as it checks on itself. It is graded on how many times we are found re-presenting Jesus to one another. CARE shouldn\’t be need driven or absence driven, it should be body driven.
There is a passage in scripture that I think we have perhaps missed the true beauty and power even though we read it often and usually during intimate times of communion during Easter; its the passage in John 13 1-17. Jesus says something powerful in this passage that is important truth that we should consider when strengthening the spiritual community of our church. He says, \”Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.\” He follows that up afterwards with instruction that as they have seen and heard Jesus do for them, they should do for each other. The reality of spiritual community is serving one another, and the power of serving one another is that its a sign of ONENESS! Serving is the opportunity to be a refreshing to one another. Jesus makes this statement in vs. 10 \”A person who has had a bath needs only wash his feet; his whole body is clean.\” Jesus of course is discussing both physically and spiritually but we are discussing spiritually for ourselves. Jewish law required a person to be clean in order to have the passover. Jesus speaking spiritually is the washing of the water of the Word over their souls and spirits. For us we have been cleaned by the washing of the water of the Word too, so then our only need is for the feet to be washed, to remove the filth of travel and remnant of the road that we have been on from day to day. Let\’s face it, that road can be tough at times. We don\’t always make the right decisions on the road thus we get dust and debris that sticks to us. As a part of the spiritual community it is not just the persons responsibility to clean their feet, it is the privilege of the members of the community to be a refreshing for that person.
This is accomplished in a couple of ways:
1. PRAY this is not hard, speak prayerfully over people as the Lord brings them to your mind.
2. REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE. People don\’t care how much you know til they know how much you care. Calls, texts, visits are simple ways that you can touch a person. Facebook posts work as well! Utilize social media to the advantage of the spiritual community, not just as a stomping ground for your political postings or emphases on the drama in your life. You have the opportunity to bless people by speaking into their lives on a daily basis; being a catalyst to the destiny that God has planned for them.
Let\’s face the reality that in both ways, we are operate at a b+ at times and others more like a solid c-minus. It is time that our church members know that we love them too, we cann\’t be so outward minded to the neglect of the community, nor can we afford to be so inwardly minded that we can\’t express the Love of God outwardly in any way. There is a perfect balance that is God-breathed and God-led. And guess what??? You and I: WE are the vessels he chooses to flow through.
I CHALLNEGE YOU TO JOIN ME IN THIS MOST IMPORTANT OF FACETS OF THE CHURCH! REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE, PRAY FOR THE COMMUNITY, BE LED OF GOD AND MINISTER GRACE AND LIFE AND PEACE TO ONE ANOTHER!