I am coming to the end of my second week of vacation. We usually take a couple of weeks before school starts in August. This year Lisa and I went earlier because my granddaughter is due to be born in September and we did not want to risk being gone for an early delivery. On top of that we were invited by a friend to use her mountain cabin in NE Georgia for a week. How awesome is that? We spent a week in the Appalachian Mountains just taking it easy and enjoying some serious Southern Hospitality.
As I have visited or traveled in other states I have always thought the people of Texas were by far the friendliest. And we are friendly, but I was so impressed with the people in the Blue Ridge, Georgia area I kept thinking how great it would be if everyone was as friendly. People were in no hurry. When they greeted you with a “how’s it going?” they stopped to listen for an answer and then seemed truly interested in my response. I ran into several people who came there to visit and went home to Chicago or Florida, packed up their stuff and moved to NE Georgia. When I asked why, they answered, “Less stress, slower pace, and friendlier people.” They were drawn by the sense of community.
Community. That’s it. We were created to be in community. When there is a strong sense of community it feels like a natural fit. No matter how a person represents him or her self in public, deep inside it is in our DNA to be in community. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” Gen 2:18
God created the church so that we could most effectively go about being the Body of Christ doing His work in this world were sin causes conflict and the devil works to keep us separated from God and others. Connection with God and people is life. Disconnection is death. Jesus said the most important commandment of God is to be so connected with God that you love him with all you have and you love others with that same intensity. There is great joy when we come together in unity to accomplish the work of God. In the fourth chapter of Ephesians the Apostle Paul writes that we become more mature as we become more unified in the church community. In the second chapter of Acts, the Apostle Luke wrote that people were drawn to the church of Jesus Christ by what the church accomplished together and how they ministered to each other.
Community. I do enjoy a vacation, but I love it when we come together. I miss gathering with my own church family even when I am on vacation. There is great joy when we worship God together and when we serve together. Are you missing out on the joy that comes through a community who loves God and loves people?
Jesus said, For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matt 18:20
There it is, straight from the mouth of Jesus. When we come together, when we gather to worship, He is there. He is there to minister. To answer prayer. To heal. To give joy. To encourage. To strengthen the power of the church and refresh within each one of us the power of His Spirit.
I love vacations. But I love meeting together with a community of believers even more. Way more……
I hope you join us this Saturday night at Shady Grove. Lisa and I will be there. And we have God’s promise that he will be there as well.