Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Cost of Community (abridged) > Part 1

*this is in preparation for a sermon I'm giving June 1. Input is welcomed! I won't put the entire text of the sermon up here, because nobody reads it. Also, it's hard to talk about something as important as community, because it's such a buzzword. I will contribute the following to the discussion.
Matthew 22: 34-40
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Now love requires what? A relationship. You cannot love others without in fact being in community with others. Implicit in Christ’s command is that we be in community. We are to love God and one another as we relate to each other. It all comes down to caring and thinking about others before yourself. You cannot follow Jesus command to love God and neighbor in isolation. It is loving relationships that drive Christianity, nothing else. These relationships form the community that is the church.

But we live in a culture that is becoming increasingly stifling to meaningful relationships; a time and place at odds with the formation of community. We all buy into this in varying degrees, and in a moment I’ll show you what I mean. As a church we must strive to reclaim our relationships with God and each other, to place them where they belong, where Jesus put them, right at the top.

So what makes loving God and other people so hard? Of all the possible ways to answer that question, I want to lift up three factors that impact community: technology, values, and priorities.

stay tuned for more!

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