Sunday Sermonizing: My Scattered Global Community
A friend of mine and I are reading Scripture together. Going through a single chapter of the Bible every week for reflection and personal growth.
A single, non-negotiable, energizing reality has come into clear focus this week through this reading.
Faith isn’t a set of ideas.
Faith is a set of relationships.
Yes, faith (for me) is the reality of Jesus.
Jesus is central to my faith.
But there is a significant and crucial “and”.
Jesus and Community
Faith is also about the community of people I walk with.
I’m not necessarily talking about the organized church I will attend a little later this morning, although this certainly could be my community. Church is a local gathering of Jesus-followers who should be making a transformative difference in their community.
But I’m realizing that my community is a diaspora, scattered all over the world. It’s people I’ve done life with. Not necessarily here and now (although I’m beginning to find that community. It takes time. I’ve only lived here for 5 years). But the people I’ve connected with over 30 years in the various parts of the world our journey has taken us.
My community — my people — now live in Ulaanbaatar and Ohio and Tennessee and Skopje and just down the road in Greenville.
There was a day when I preached, wrote, and talked incessantly about the need and importance for Christian community. I’ve lamented that my ideal has alluded me for my entire life. Moves and ministry and never understanding where my “home” is. Feeling like I’ve never had a “place”.
But I was wrong.
I do have a community. It’s not what I expected it to look like. It’s not one that’s all together in one place, with me at the center. My community is on several continents, in several cities.
And is with my friend who reads Scripture with me every day. He’s at his place. I’m at mine. We text each other our insights.
The journey we’re on is a strange one. It often takes unexpected and even undesired twists and turns.
But this I know:
Jesus is center.
I really and truly have never walked alone.