A Different Kind of Community
Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
The kind of community that the New Testament calls us to is radically different than what you may find in the world. Non-Christians create all sorts of different communities where people feel welcomed, and many time it’s really quite wonderful. But such community is based on affinities such as shared hobbies or interests, political alignments, racial, ethnic or other identities, etc. The community that the gospel calls us to is not based on any of these but is rooted in a shared experience of the love of Jesus. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Now, the “problem” with the love of Jesus is that it is indiscriminate. It is a love that comes to us in spite of us. It comes to us not because of who we are but because of who He is. Not our identity, but His! It assumes our unworthiness, but embraces His. This means that the love of Jesus forces me together with those that have differing natural affinities – maybe even those that I struggle with.
The Apostle Paul put it this way. Becoming a Christian is:
“a renewal [i.e. a radical makeover of identity] in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:11)
Today, we might say, there is neither Republican or Democrat, black or white, privileged or under-privileged, but Christ is all, and in all.
The test of whether you have truly believed and received the grace of Jesus for yourself is not how strongly you demand that grace from other, but how gladly you give it to others, especially those for whom by your natural standards, you would have no affinity.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”
~ Colossians 3:9-11 (ESV)