As we consider the look God has put upon the people of God, the visual manifesto of the body of Christ today we can not ignore a number of powerful descriptions. We cannot put to one side the repeated attributes of the Community in the scriptures, the descriptions of disciples being together, the overwhelming eating and living together expressions, the corporate baptism of revelations of the Christ that occurred. We cannot even ignore that the people of the book had such a grasp that they even saw that they only had a covenant with God in terms of their belonging to people, not as individuals with a Covenant but I only have a Covenant because I belong to a people.
These people, our brothers and sisters had a deep sense of understanding of the body in reality, a true community, a grasp of the body we are and a new found reality of the statement “this is my body”. When they first uttered the words “THIS IS MY BODY”, in church context when Latin was used I was amused recently to discover “hocus pocus” had a community impact. It’s been plausibly suggested that hocus-pocus is a corruption of the genuine Latin words “…hoc est enim corpus meum…” “for this is my body,” spoken during the consecration of the Roman Catholic Mass when the wine and wafer is the body and blood of Christ.
I believe and await a true Community to rise in earth that will be the a movement of mature fullness of the church, the community of God.
The True Community – What ‘we’ learn that ‘I’ will never know.
Our world is so formed and my perception takes root, that is ‘MY’ benefits, ‘MY’ rights have invaded the language and formed some of the ways, conduct and expressions of the family of God. There is great truth in the fact that I am loved by Jesus, that he walks and talks with me, moving into MY destiny, my story, my entitlements this was aged start but not enough and I shod have moved form it.
The songs we sing will mould us and make impact on us. On some occasions even much more that the preaching of the word as we over and over repeat statements that become worked into our thinking and become part of us. The Christian songs, and all songs I grew up with have had a profound affect on me, they helped to form my initial understanding of what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. I thank God that most songs that have been around me and I must admit those in recent years that I have been willing to sing have been about Christ not me.
Today I feel with many a shout of enough, and although its a good start this solo-faith the faith of its about me, my ministry, my destiny, my stuff, but its not good enough. My Welsh Valley upbringing had more effect in my perceptions than I realise, I have known positive impact along with negative. Positively the sense of community, street life, the watching over each other. In the light of my Welsh world view I discovered a US of the street, of the community. In the church I cannot ever recall being taught to consider the significant relationship between Jesus and US, its been Jesus and me. I think my Valley up-bring put an US in me and therefore it was woven into me, it becomes my thinking without realising.
In terms of my church life I like many missed the biblical necessity of community: that Jesus intended to fuse people together in people, community, family dynamics where they could grow in godly character and generous living. Where “…every joint supplies…the body gave increase of itself…”, an us, a corporate over arching view, realising it should be the eyes I listen though and the ears I see though…
I read a quote once that said “It is impossible for men to meet with God and love him without at the same time meeting with and loving one another.” We are the PEOPLE of God and it is to become our dominating world view, a US, a PEOPLE of Covenant.
Can we once again consider the well quoted passage of Matthew 18:20 “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”, well quoted as it is often used to paint a picture of what many call ‘presence’. Could you see it much more about the UNION that springs to life whenever people form a gathering where Christ is the supreme guest.
This community is found in two+plus who make a deliberate choice to see the Christ, make him central focus, not me central and my needs, also who accept one another. in very practical ways To give to each other in this context is no accidental event, it is very intentional. Its a challenge as it requires something from me to be an expression within the true communion the US, the UNION its my discipline, humility, selfless love, grace, my poured out servant, towel taking posture. This expression requires I express covenant with each other, that I can stay in, that i became loyal to people and my confessions, it requires my flexibility in emotion, mind and love. Then and only then do words become an expression “Love the Lord your God…love your neighbour as yourself”, ”Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”