Community. It’s a buzz word right now, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings. What does it mean in our walk with the Lord? How can we truly live out the sort of community described to us in Acts?
It had been a rough night in the little cave I’d slept in. The ground was bumpy and angled at a slope. Last night the allure of sleeping in a rocky mountain cave seemed worth the inconvenience. But, I didn’t anticipate the hours would be filled with sleepy visions of a lost bear stumbling upon my borrowed patch of earth. I don’t think I’ll ever sleep in a cave again.
It was a Sunday morning and all around the world countless faithful sheep were stumbling into sanctuaries, with worn hope and the fresh wounds of the week’s chaos. I thought of them as I knelt beside my little fire and brewed the morning coffee.
Our society is too comfortable.
Not only that, our society thinks it should, by whatever means necessary, push us in all areas of our individual lives towards being comfortable.
The only problem is this: The other side of comfort is complacency. The side effects of a life of safety and fulfillment are an abandonment of our Kingdom purposes and an idolatrous relationship with having our needs met that is, in essence, cheating on God.
Over the years, we hear hundreds, then thousands of messages, talks or Bible studies. Of course we don’t remember them all. The ones that stick for me have usually been profoundly simple, and often involved a memorable metaphor.
Two weeks ago, I attended the Apprentice Institute held in the booming metropolis of Wichita, Kansas. One of the keynote speakers is a dear friend of mine, Mindy Caliguire. Her presentation was entitled “Hounded by Heaven Living into Personal Transformation”. I got settled into my seat as Mindy began her presentation. She’s a gifted speaker and writer, and I was ready to hear whatever she had to say.
My wife, Alice, and I were visiting our daughter’s new church. Like most church visitors we were tentative in knowing how to respond to the various parts of the worship service. We were certain a sermon would be coming but we weren’t prepared for what would happen right before the sermon – a blessing of the children.