The Heart of Community
By now we’ve all seen the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. We’ve also witnessed, through the media, many images of people within those communities reaching out to those in need. Love and concern have been demonstrated through kind and often heroic acts.
Although we can’t see what happens in the heart we can often find what the heart is like from actions that are clearly seen. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word . . .”
The actions of Christ for His community, the church, come flowing out of this passage. Words like loved, gave himself up, sanctify, cleansed, and washing, all speak of the acts of Christ past, present and future for His people. That is why in Philippians 1:6 Paul spoke with confidence and assurance in the action of God within that church. He spoke of a good work that had begun and would continue until it was completed in the body of Christ.
There are times we might become disillusioned by some of the things that take place within the body of Christ. We are, in fact, a family made up of imperfect people. Yet this is the amazing thing. God uses those weaknesses to show his strength as He does tremendous things in our midst. It is certainly He who brings new life, it is He who lovingly disciplines and corrects, it is He who brings nourishment where there is hunger, and it is He who restores all things as they should be. In fact when we see a church in stress or struggle it can never be attributed to Christ, who is our head. Rather, those things can be discovered residing in the heart of a body that has left its first love and is not responding to its head.
So what to do? If you truly want to experience a strong heartbeat throughout your church community, you must recognize where the work takes place. It’s in the hands of a loving Father who has called you together for such a time as this in carrying out his purpose of bringing glory to him in your midst and impacting the world around you.
You may be in a time of crisis in your community of faith or maybe things have lately been a bit “ho-hum.” Bring life, vibrancy, and a new heart back to your church family again by turning to Him who will be the one who continues and completes His work. In that, we can be confident!