The Gift of Community

In a day and age in which we live it can become all too easy to overlook the impact, meaning and value of something so simple as the community in which we live. Some of us live in the same community all our life, while others are constantly in a mode of moving from one community to another with ever increasing frequency. Knowing that a community has the tendency to change over time because people age, change and move, we have to take time to recognize that as Jesus himself, our community is a gift to us.

Image Credit: Freeimages.com

Image Credit: Freeimages.com

Within the Jewish community around this time of year there is preparation being made to celebrate Hanukkah, a time of remembering when the people of Israel rededicated the temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt. It is a constant reminder to them of God‘s provision and sustaining grace. Many will commemorate this time by the coming together to exchanging homemade gifts, lighting the menorah, and eating with one another.

In the last few weeks it is very apparent that there has been a great unrest from community to community over what has occurred in Ferguson, MO, New York, NY and various other places across the country. Yet, we are still a community. We have the opportunity in this holiday season to remind one another that community is a gift that we give ourselves. We make the community, we shape it, and we therefore must care for it.

When my wife and I give our children gifts we have to teach them what the gifts they are given mean, teach them how to respect it, and care for it so that they may take advantage of all that the gift has to offer them in return. If we don’t do this it is not long before we find that the gift they’ve been given is in disarray, tattered, and in ruins.

In as much as Christ challenged his community, it was challenged in a way that let it know that it could be better than it was in that present moment. Let this be the season in which we find purpose, hope, meaning and value in our communities. Let this be a time in which we take time to show others how they can likewise be a gift to the gift that is our communities. Just because we’ve experience some abuses doesn’t mean we have to  add to the ruining and further tearing down of our community. We can become the ones who bring sustaining grace and provision in a dark time. In that moment, we become a healing oil and light to the true path and purpose of our community.

 

QUESTION: How can you present yourself as a gift to the gift that is your community?

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