If the cross were enough, then an attachment to any of the thousands crucified on Roman crosses would suffice. If having a faith was all we need, then faith that it will rain in Melbourne will do. If community was the top order priority then belonging to the local bowls club would suffice, particularly as they do a very good Trevalla, chips and salad.
Community is real to the extent that we commune with persons in more than a superficial way. The most satisfying communion comes from the touching of hearts and a connection with the real person rather than our many projected masks. Similarly, we have pleasure with God to the extent that we are in communion with Jesus the person; with Jesus the real Jesus rather than a religious construct. None of this is difficult as Father, Son and Holy Spirit are committed to revealing themselves to us as they are. All that is required is that we be more aligned with God’s idea of God than our own ideas about God.
‘It’s much easier to belong to a group than to know you belong to God.’ Sure, we grow in community if we are in a community that draws its life and identity from a real and present Jesus and the people are joined to Him spirit and in truth. But don’t expect much nurture from those who live from Churchianity and religion. Or those whose primary orientation is the law. Not only does the latter suffocate personhood and community. These communities are insulated from Jesus by teaching that smothers the union with God that belongs to all in the new covenant age. These tend to be pseudo communities and have difficulty feeding themselves let alone the non-believing world.
Knowing we belong to God can be hard work – hard in that it involves abandoning lazy thinking, being done with the notion that me and my needs are the centre of the universe and coming to the view that real life is found in not what we do BUT WHO WE ARE – sons of God.
There is much religious talk about community. Much foolish talk too. Community will not be enjoyed if we are living in externalities and never in touch with our deeper self. In fact, if community is our christ we will not possess a deeper self or find satisfaction in life. We will mingle with others and then get home and find there is no one there. Community comes from the fact that in our essence we are one with the trinity – the original community. This is never found in externality. But when we and the trinity are one we impart their communal life to the things we touch.
‘Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.
If community is our Jesus we will not find much of it. But if He is our life it will come to us without effort. Community is ours when we are in God – which means that we are in community – the community of the trinity. We have already been placed here in the Spirit by Jesus The New and Living Way. More to the point Father, Son and Holy Spirit have made their home in us. So we are all set to multiply what we have. Life in the Spirit is life in community.