Lessons from Community

Ajitha Anand   |   September 27, 2016 

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I am an avid follower of social media and have many friends across the world. Many I know personally. A few I’ve never met, but they are friends, none-the-less. I don’t know how, but it works in today’s age. Facebook has redefined the meaning of community to us.

This has impacted our way of thinking about the community that we live in. We can live in a community and yet can isolate ourselves from it. But this passage gives me a sense of joy and celebration.

Act 2:46-47 “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”.

And as much as community can be messy, it also energises me. It is the real celebration of who we are in Christ.

Every time I see things going wrong in our community, every cell in my body wants to fix it, but I know that's not my role. Even though I live in a young, vibrant and Gospel-centered community, when troubles arise, it takes time for God to work things out. I have been doing life with this community for the past three years with a mixture of  both highs and lows.

Once my friend asked how I managed work, a church plant, and a young family? My answer was very simple. My church community is God’s grace to help me persevere in my calling in every season of my life. Our community helps in shaping our calling.

Philippians 2:4-7: “ Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of servant, being made in human likeness”.

Someone told me, Christians are like fertiliser. Fertiliser helps plants to grow stronger. As Christians we are called to nourish and encourage each other to walk with God in a deeper way. As I look back at my three years in this community, I have learnt many things that have helped me grow. I will never forget these three things God taught me through my many trials and mistakes:

  1. God shapes me through all that happens in my community through the process of discipleship.
  2. Community actually shows who I am (my strength, weakness, heart’s posture) and will bring out the best and worst in me.
  3. Finally, community without a purpose will die a slow death.

I also am free to live a vulnerable life alongside the people with whom God has placed me. The Gospel gives me that real freedom to be vulnerable because it tells me I am already accepted and affirmed by the Father. I don’t have to strive to be more loved, more affirmed or accepted in the community. The Gospel sets me free from striving to be someone I am not.

The Trinity is a community, complete and fulfilled in themselves. I am reminded how the first ever perfect community of God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son and the Holy Spirit was once broken on that cross so that I could be included into the family of God. The community of people I live in is not perfect; neither am I. But imperfect me can live joyfully in an imperfect community in the hope that one day, I will inherit the perfect community where there are no heartbreaks, no misunderstandings, no tears, no sadness, and no shame.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 

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Ajitha Anand

Ajitha Anand is a Jesus lover and has a deep burden to serve minor girls who have been trafficked. She is married to Anand Mahadevan and have two children.

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6 comments on “Lessons from Community”

  1. Well said!! I am who I am in Christ ... and then I am who I am in the community/family that God placed me in... and no power can separate me from the love of God...

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