com-mu-ni-ty [kuh-myoo-ni-tee]: a noun

textingCommunity Sunday is now less than two weeks away. We hear alot about community in our culture. The dictionary defines community as a group of people who band together for a common identity or purpose. As Americans we’ve traded the front porch for Facebook and meaningful relationships for Twitter. Phone conversations among younger generations are passe with text messaging being the preferred method of communication. Some have exchanged the back yard bbq with neighbors for an internet community of chat rooms.

Many home owners approach their remote controlled garage. Garage door opens. Garage door closes, and a person barely see one’s neighbor even though they may live within 15-20 feet of one another. And should a neighbor leave the confines of the home, never fear, because there are large fences on either side to shield themselves from entering into a conversation. In short, people are losing their community identity to an internet nether-world community exchanging meaningful relationships for online “relationships” where identities are hidden, facts are exaggerated and hyperbole is the accepted reality. Is this a pessimistic view of American community?

God has built us or wired us for community. In fact, two of the three institutions that God ordained are built around community: the family and the local church. It has always been the plan of the Devil to fracture and splinter these two most important entities. God has placed in the heart of human beings a desire for acceptance and belonging. While man is separated from God, He has also placed within each of us what is often referred to as a “God-shaped hole,” which only He can fill.

So why a Community Sunday? (1) God is glorified when individuals band together (i.e. the local church) and in the midst of a fracturing, splintering society come together in Christ-like unity to reach families and individuals. (2) God is vindicated when people who have been fractured and splintered from a relationship with God because of sin are united with God in salvation because of Christ. (3) God is honored when those families that were once splintered and fractured are reunited around a common cause and purpose: Jesus Christ.

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