How and where do you experience community? In today’s readings, I found very different ways of describing community. As the tribes of Israel settled into their new land, faithfulness to God only lasted one generation. The next generation wandered from the LORD God to the gods and idols of the people who had inhabited the land, and consequently things began to go poorly for them. If they did not want the LORD in their lives, the LORD would allow them to live on their own and suffer whatever would be. Judges offers a picture of what happens when the community strays from God.
Paul provides another picture of community for the Christians in Corinth. Picture a body with each person as a body part. Obviously all parts must work together for the body to function. When we invite Jesus into our lives, the Holy Spirit takes us residence in us and we receive certain spiritual gifts. These gifts are intended to be used within the body – the Christian community. We need all parts – all persons.
From both readings, I realize that God has chosen to be known and to be at work in community. I can try to exist as an individual Christian on my own, but without community I cannot fulfil God’s purpose for me and what God wants to do through me.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.