“Community” …As a professor of Health Care Administration, I say that word a lot in courses such as Special Populations, Public Health, and Health Policy. But no textbook can truly provide the meaning God intended that word to carry.
Community is not just a word to describe a group of people with commonalities. In the Christian context it is much deeper. Community is loving your neighbor as you love yourself (and not that pseudo love, but that 1 Corinthian-Chapter-13 kind of love). And if you have ever loved - I mean truly loved - you know it does not come easy.
“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” I Cor 13:4-8 (NEV)
Community is not some arduous calling to shy away from. On the contrary, the key is to face and embrace the reality that true love does not and will not occur in the absence of the Holy Spirit and learning what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. This means that to create community, we must realize it’s a “God thing”, not a “me thing”.
I hope we all come to the conference this year with an open mind, open ears, and an open heart to soak in the message God has in store for each of us about what Community means in His eyes.
I’m looking forward to growing together at this year’s CCHF conference!