Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, it’s hard not to notice what’s been going on with the Toronto Blue Jays this year. After some mid-season trades the Jays have become the best team in baseball in the second half of this 2015 season. If you’re on any type of social media you’ll notice a plethora of tweets and FB posts about our cities beloved team. You can tell that some people live and die with this team. With social-posts come what we know as ‘#hashtags’. My favourite out of all of them might be #ComeTogether. This so depicts what has happened with this Ball Club and its fans. The city or Toronto, the province of Ontario, the country of Canada, has #ComeTogether to support the Blue Jays. We are enthralled and enamoured with the story that is being written, hoping that its final chapter is another world series for our team.
We can easily steal or use the same #hashtag when talking about our (or other) church community. The church #ComesTogether around the person of Jesus and the story of the gospel. We #ComeTogether as community, as a body, as a collective of people who live by an alternative and counter-cultural storyline, one that embody’s grace, love, peace, forgiveness, justice, etc. You see, the church isn’t a place, it isn’t a building, it isn’t an institution, it’s community of people who are learning what it means to love God, love our neighbour, and make the world better.
Some say it like this…
at the same place at the same time. (Bruxy)
believe; it’s meant to be lived, shared, eaten, spoken, and enacted in the
presence of other people…I can’t be a Christian on my own. I need a community.
I need the church. (Rachel Held Evens)
Israel started this for us. They were discovering what it meant to be ‘God’s people’. But things really started to snow ball with Jesus, his disciples, and the early church who we read about in Acts.
Jesus’ prayer in John 17 is key to how we understand community. He prayed, “that all of
them may be one, Father, just
as you are in me and I am in you…that they may be one as we are one— 23 I
in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity…Then the world will know that you sent me and have
loved them even as you have loved me.“
Jesus prayed that we would be one…that we would be community. Not just any kind of community, but one that experiences the same unity as he does with God the Father. He also says that this kind of community would be the loudest way to get the message of his love out to the world. FaceBook, Twitter and the internet – they won’t attract anyone unless the church is an ‘attractive’, loving and functional community to be a part of.
Paul’s words about ‘the body of Christ’ 1 Corinthians 12 is an answer to Jesus’ prayer from John 17. He says, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts
form one body, so it is with Christ. For we
were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether
Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to
he says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor
is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
visible to God and to one another…in a new kind of fellowship that the Roman
Empire and the Jewish world had never seen before.”
groups, cheering each other on, helping someone in need, making a meal for
someone, being generous with how and what you give, praying for one another, building community – wherever and whenever we gather.