Cure for Poverty of Community

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” – Genesis 2:18

My wrestling coaches in high school pulled me aside one day and said, “George, this barbell will never let you down.  Your mom and dad will let you down.  Your friends will let you down, but this barbell will never let you down.”  I still don’t like weights.  They’re heavy.  They’re hard to lift.  Who needs them?  Well, I guess those who want to grow some muscle mass need them.

Who needs them?  A question that rings throughout the history of humanity.  Of course, the answer is that we all need them, people that is, not barbells. Unfortunately, people, like barbells, often let us down.  In fact, we can be so let down that we find ourselves in the midst of poverty of community.  In other words, we’re all alone.  It’s not good to be all alone.  God said so.  Didn’t you read the above quote?

One of the greatest challenges in our own culture is loneliness. We’re connected to “friends” through posts and tweets and other such techno-babble, but we’re so deeply disconnected from real community that it is killing us.  We’re poor and not in the ways we think.  God has given us two cures for this poverty of community.

One is the body of Christ.  It’s primary function is to gather and be one, to live life together, to build each up.  It’s not perfect, but it is being perfected.  It’s not imperfect because of the design, but because it is filled with people coming out of various types of poverty.  But, it’s a people collectively seeking to do something about their poverty.

Another is God himself.  Jesus became flesh and blood and moved into our neighborhoods so that he could be with us.  God deeply desires to be with us.  Jesus was called Immanuel, God with us!  Jesus even said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Dallas Willard reminds us, “God is able to penetrate and intertwine himself within the fibers of the human self in such a way that those who are enveloped in his loving companionship will never be alone.”

God wants to be with you.  You never have to be alone.  God desires to speak with you.  Are you listening?

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