The Importance of Community: A Lesson from Woodstock
This morning as I was getting ready for church, I noticed that my dog, Woodstock, was not around. Woodstock and I have a routine. Every morning when I get up, Woodstock hears me and comes to greet me. She wants to go out and then come in and be fed. (Have I mentioned before that my dog is OCD? Routine is quite important to her). I found her laying on the recliner. Remember, Woodstock weighs at least 100 pounds. She was wedged in the chair pretty good. She could not get out herself. Every time she would try, the recliner would rock which freaked her out a bit. I finally got her out and as her back legs landed on the floor they crumpled underneath her. I think they fell asleep.Tonight I had the opportunity to lead our elders in communion. As I was thinking about the Lord’s table and what happened to Woodstock, I was reminded of the importance of community. The Bible makes it pretty clear that life was always meant to be lived out in community. And the Bible teaches that when we become followers of Jesus we are placed into the family of God by the Holy Spirit. I don’t understand it but I believe it. And I am grateful.
We need each other. All of us at one time or another get stuck. Not in a recliner. But in life. We try to rock ourselves out of it but the fear overwhelms us. What I have found to be true is God usually sends us people to help us get unstuck.
I was reading in 2 Corinthians 7:5 – 6
For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn – fighting without and fear within. But God who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
God comforts the downcast. How did He comfort Paul? By sending him Titus. God uses people to bring comfort. God uses us!!! We are His hands and His feet.
Have you ever been in a season where there is fighting on the outside of your life? and fear paralyzing you within? We all go through those times. It is in those times we need community. We need each other. Sometimes we need people to fight for us. Pray for us. To help us get unstuck.
One of the most important reasons to be in a church is for community. I watch people go through loss and sickness and see the people of my church rally around them and comfort them by providing a meal or praying for them or sending them a card. I often wonder how people who have no support system like that get through the hard times.
I would have never known to go looking for Woodstock if I was not used to seeing her every morning when I get up. One of the perks of being established in a church is people are used to seeing you week after week and when all of a sudden you stop coming around, somebody notices. Someone will go looking for you (or they should). People who say they can love God and serve Jesus without going to church are missing something God never intended them to miss…community. Sure you can have a relationship with Jesus and not go to church but I believe strongly your spiritual growth will be stunted. We were designed to live and grow in community.
You are probably not stuck in an actual recliner but there are areas of your life that you can’t seem to get victory. You are stuck in a rut. You are discouraged and have shut people out. Remember that God comforts the downcast but He usually uses people to do it. And if you are not stuck, be the person who God uses to bring comfort to someone else.