Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Living in Community

We often do not talk about the importance of community, even though it is present from the very beginning. God dwells in community.  He is one and three. The trinity is a perfect communion.  God also creates in community. The Father, Son, and Spirit all play a role in creation. In Gen. 1:26 God says, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness.” The trinity works together to create humanity, and we bear the image of the divine. God says everything is good, but He also says, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). Isolation is not a part of God’s plan.  God intended that we live in community. He creates Eve to be a coequal with Adam, so they might enjoy God’s good creation together.

One thing that is evident in the fall is that community is disrupted. Sin disrupts community. When Adam and Eve sin they see each other in a different light (Gen. 3:7). Their relationship is altered.  Sin also spoils their relationship with God. When they hear God walking in the garden they are afraid and hide themselves from Him (Gen. 3:8). This disruption of community continues as sin spreads throughout the earth. Cain refuses to live in community and does not take any responsibility for his brother (Gen. 4:9). The descendants of Cain create an impressive society that consists of cities, musicians, herdsmen, and inventors, but it is a city that lacks community with God (Gen. 4:17-24). Eventually the world is full of so much violence and wickedness that God decides to destroy it (Gen. 6).  A society full of violence is a clear sign that people have abandoned the true sense of community. In Gen. 11 community is disrupted once again as the people come together to build a city and a tower “with its top in the heavens” (Gen. 11:4). All of this was done out of pride and arrogance, so God punishes them by confusing their language (Gen. 11:7). Community is destroyed.

From these first chapters of Genesis we learn two important lessons. God wants us to live in community, and sin destroys community.  When people begin to separate themselves and live in isolation it is not good.  God desires that we live in community. He established the church as a community of God’s people. He is coming back to restore the community that Adam and Eve enjoyed before the fall. As members of a community we must guard against sin. Sin is a detriment to community. It can tear apart relationships. It poisons society. Although it is impossible to live without sin, we can strive to live holy lives, and we can rely on confession and forgiveness when sin happens. God has given us the means to live in harmony and community, and this is what He expects us to do.

“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other.” Jean Vanier

“Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.” Wendell Berry


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