: a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)
: a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.
What communities are you apart of in your life? Church? Your neighborhood? School? Work? How do you share in this community? What makes it a community?
That brings us to a sense of community - "the perception of similarity to others, an acknowledged interdependence with others, a willingness to maintain this interdependence by giving to or doing for others what one expects from them, and the feeling that one is part of a larger dependable and stable structure"
We all live in neighborhoods of sorts. Do you know your neighbors? Do you spend time with them? Do you talk with them? Do you help one another?
What about at church? How is it a community for you? You are obviously a group of people who have the same interests but what do you do to have a sense of community? Do you know others? Do you visit with one another? Do you get together? Do you take care of one another?
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
My uncle recently passed away and I went to my aunt’s home the evening before the funeral. While we were there a group from her church came to bring dinner. It was so thoughtful and greatly appreciated. After taking her part of the meal to the kitchen, one woman came and sat down next to my aunt and visited with her. She expressed her sympathy and then listened intently as my aunt told her about my uncle’s passing. The woman held my aunt’s hand and whispered words of encouragement and love to her. It was beautiful and moving. It brought tears to my eyes. I could see what a community there was surrounding my aunt. I could see her church living out the scripture, living out the Great Commandments Jesus gives us in Matthew 5:13-16:
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
They were that light on a hill shinning brightly in Matthew 5:14-16:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
I think this is what community is all about. I think it is what we are to be about in the world. So where is your community? How are you working to build it? How are you letting your light shine?