On community

This week’s Fruit of the Vine is a collection of short reflections from me. I’d like to include Saturday’s reflection here:

Sometimes I wonder what early believers talked about as they broke bread from house to house. The Scripture makes it clear that they prayed and ate and praised God, but I wonder if they also talked about what kind of a community they were becoming and why.

I was in a group like that once. Most of us attended different churches on Sunday mornings, but we all got together on Sunday afternoons to sing, to wait in silence, to talk about where we were seeing God at work. Mainly, we were just curious about what God might be doing. There was one conversation in particular that keeps coming up in my memory, a discussion about what the church could be.

A woman spoke of her desire to be part of a place where people seriously struggle with what it means to believe instead of simply showing up for the social connections or from a sense of duty. Another shared his vision of creating a place that was open all the time – a kind of community center – a place where people gather to seek counsel, to come together with friends, to discuss and take action on issues of social justice. A third talked about an increasing individualism in society that competes with our desire to be known. We long for community but struggle with commitment.

And I wonder – what about you? If you’d been with us, what might you have shared? What do you long for in a faith community?

I’d like to know.

Eric Muhr