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There is  something about a bunch of 12 year-olds, running around and screaming in the back yard that makes me smile. Almost as soon as they are home from school, they begin to congregate here, to hang out, to play, and to talk about all that happened just a few minutes ago in the classroom and on the bus.To share the highs and lows of the day. To commiserate about the not so good, and to laugh about the good.

There is this innate need that we have as human beings – to gather, to be together, to share our lives with one another, even if it’s just the mundane “stuff” of rehashing the day. It’s called community.

Since the very beginning, men and women have gathered in community to share their lives with one another. To laugh and to cry together. In the New Testament book of Acts, a unique kind of community was formed after the resurrection of Jesus. This was an entirely new way of living in common together. Community. Communion. The Greek word for this kind of living is koinonia, a rich and wonderful way of living and being with one another and with God by intimate participation in the Risen life of Christ. Communion. St. Paul calls this the Body of Christ in 1 Cor 12:27 “Now you are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

While we don’t live together in common community anymore, we do gather as the Body of Christ. We gather because God reveals himself to us through one another, gathered in His Name, around His Word and Sacrament. We gather as individual members of the body, each with our own unique role to offer. (read 1 Cor 12:1-26) When part of the Body doesn’t gather, something is indeed lacking. The “hearing” may be muted, or the “eyesight” not as sharp, the “heart” doesn’t beat quite as strongly as the “voice” isn’t as clear.

In times of joy, and in times of sorrow, this community of faith tells me I am not alone. They dance with me in my joy, and weep with me in my sorrow. In other words, they show me the face of the Resurrected Christ in my most vulnerable life moments.

The girls in our yard have it right, I think. They go and fetch each other for their gatherings. Door to door they go, around the neighborhood, collecting each other till all who can come are assembled. And when all are assembled, something wonderful happens all over again – community, communion, koinonia!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Sandra permalink
    2November2012 09:19

    We do live in many more communities than in the past. Our communities have expanded from the body of Christ to include global communities. How can we build community outside the church walls more intentionally?

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