While most people look for a new “church” structure to emerge that will guarantee a better community, it will not work. Structures are from the old creation and none have ever been created that selfish people cannot exploit for their own gain. If we’re going to experience the life of the new community we have to think different people who live in his love, not different structures that will protect us. And rather than looking for that in others, the challenged is to let Jesus create that in us first.
I get that a humanly organised structure becomes cumbersome to the freedom of walking with Christ.
However, since we are all works in progress…isn’t it natural to look for others who can walk alongside us.
We need intimacy with God, yes! But I think we also need others. Others who can encourage us towards God.
So I’m unsure about this. I’m not sure whether I’m getting the wrong end of the stick here.
“Rather than looking for this in others, we should let God create it in us first” makes me feel like I gotta get it right before I can have community. But I m not going to have it right…I’m a work in progress. I need to seek intimacy with God, whilst at the same time I walk with others who love Him, through whom I can be encouraged, who can help me with my blind spots, Tec.
Sarah, thanks for asking. No, I don’t think this means we have to get it all right to have community. The point us that community comes out of living in his love. As I’m learning to live loved I’ll get to experience real connections with people, especially those who are also learning to live in his love. It’s the pathway not the destination. Selfishness (and self-protection) disrupts relationships and love helps build them. We are all a work in progress. This is not about the destination but the process.
And yes it is important to grow with others, where possible who know how to live in that love. I think that’s what Jesus was doing with his disciples. He was showing them how to live in Father’s love. It’s important that those who are learning to do that encourage others who don’t have a clue how to do that. Community begins at the earliest stages of learning to love. You don’t have to have it all together…