Some Assembly Required
Hebrews 10: 23-25 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Community is hard. Gathering people together with different lifestyles, parenting techniques, beliefs, personality quirks, opinions, politics, you name it, anytime you gather a group of people together anything at any time can cause conflict to arise. Many times we allow these conflicts to keep us from engaging fully into community. We withhold parts of ourselves in order to avoid such conflicts that emerge. We forsake authenticity for peace.
But what Christ calls us into is an authentic relationship with Him and the Church. To allow ourselves to enter into an entirely vulnerable state so that we may experience God’s love and grace in a whole new way. In John 13:35 Christ says this, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” This idea of loving one another can only be genuine and authentic if we enter into community with one another that fully embraces the truth that hurt, pain, conflict is inevitable because the opposite is also entirely true that with community comes love, comfort, peace, joy, compassion, and the ever-coveted relationship. We do this because although we beat Christ, spat in his face, whipped him half to death, nailed him to a cross, and drove a spear into his side, that he still loves us. Christ did not run in the face of conflict, he did keep any part of himself to himself for fear of judgment, instead, he gave all that he was so that we may experience love like never before.
Romans 5:8 says this, “But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The most important expression of our love and devotion to Jesus Christ is that we love and devote ourselves to his church, to the community that he created for us. Because while we undoubtedly have conflict amongst ourselves, we will also experience the love of God in a whole new and more powerful way.