What a time to talk about the importance of community. We are being called to rise as ONE. To stand as brothers and sisters that love ONE God and fight for His kingdom.
Romans 12:4-5 says, "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Paul is speaking to the importance of understanding that we, as brothers and sisters, form ONE BODY, and EACH PART is significant to the body’s functioning.
He continues to explain this in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 - “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member, but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”
Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 explicitly show us that we are better together than we are alone. Why does it feel so hard to fully grasp that sometimes?
God didn’t intend for us to live life alone or against each other - He created us to thrive in this life together as one body that honors and celebrates each other's differences and experience life’s highs and lows together. As members of one body, we must understand and believe that everyone has something to teach and something to learn. What a loss it would be to pursue this life as an isolated member of the body without realizing the necessity of the other members and the enrichment they bring to the body.
Living life with the mentality of Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 helps us understand that biblical community can have all shapes and sizes. It can be with those few friends that have spurred you on through all of life’s ups and downs, with the group of men/women you met through your church, those few co-workers that share the same faith, etc. Take an inventory of the people you are surrounded by. Who in your life is there to lift up, learn from, and be a friend through mourning and rejoicing? What about when the roles are reversed? So often, we believe that community has to exist within specific parameters (i.e. specific type of group - same gender, age, stage, etc.). However, we see in the scriptures that community exists when we gather together to worship and honor the body of Christ, regardless of parameters we may set for ourselves. Those said parameters can still lead to something wonderful, don’t get me wrong. But don’t make the mistake of limiting yourself to what you think your community should look like, when it could be found in a different size or shape.
When we grow in our relationships with other members of the body of Christ, we’re growing in relationship with Him! May we strive to live a life demonstrating what is stated in the scriptures - that all “members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”