Community

Today I am sick.
Thankfully not the flu,
but still feeling like I have been hit by a truck.
This head cold is kicking my butt today.
After getting out of bed and getting ready for the day,
I helped get the kids ready and went straight back to bed.
Now some days, I would welcome this change,
but today is Sunday.
Missing church one Sunday is not going to hurt me, right…
rest and get well, that is what I need.
Yes, that is true, but Sundays are not just church days for me.
Our church meets at our home, 
so this morning as everyone gathered downstairs, 
I laid in bed and stayed in my room,
 trying to make every effort to keep my germs away from others.
I fell asleep for a while and woke to my son crying.
After that, I was awake. 
So I lay there and listened. 
Most of what I heard was chatter.
I felt in some ways like a child who had been sent to her room and was missing out on the party downstairs.  I hated it!
Part of it, I admit, was my extroverted need to be with people,
but a larger part of it was my desire to reconnect with these friends.
Worship on Sundays is beautiful.
It’s good to focus on Jesus and give him all glory and praise.
But more than that, my heart and soul are filled to overflowing after spending time connecting, praying and being in fellowship with others who love Jesus, and genuinely love each other.
That is what our Graceway Community is.
So as I laid there listening, and sneaking down for a couple of peaks like a little girl on Christmas Eve, I was reminded about how essential it is to live in community.
Jesus lived his life that way.  He was constantly surrounded by people, but more than that, he lived, ate, slept, celebrated, mourned, talked, walked… with a few very close friends.  He indeed took his alone time, but chose to live his life in community.  No wonder it is so ingrained in us; the need to belong, the desire to be loved, the longing to be in relationships…  It’s how we were created to live.
I don’t want to do life any other way.  
My personal relationship with my God gives my life great joy,
my immediate family relationships do the same,
but my faith, hope and strength for this life is really rooted in community; 
walking through life together, loving each other, praying for and encouraging each other, celebrating newness and holding hand during hardness, laughing together, crying together and in it all, seeking Jesus together.  I believe God uses those communities to speak into our lives in deep, rich ways.
I thank God that I am created to live in community,
and thankful that I am living life that way.
It’s the way we were created to live, but more than that, it’s what fills the heart, lifts the soul and opens us up to hear, see and experience Jesus more fully.
Are you “living life” with a community?
We started a small one by simply inviting friends who were in a similar season of life over for dinner every other week.  Our homegroup has become another community of people, all parents with young kids, who share food, fellowship and life.  Opening your home is a great place to start!

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