Many people in our culture identify as “spiritual” but find the idea of belonging to a church or other religious group hard to swallow. But even though we reject the thought of community, we find ourselves – in our increasing loneliness as a culture – craving community at the same time. Is it possible that this craving comes from our being made in God’s image, and thus made for the very community we reject?
The Bible tells the story of God’s plan to create a new humanity for himself, a new people. We as postmoderns in the contemporary West tend to see all of reality through the lens of individualism, but if God is creating this new family for himself then we as individuals have a more fundamental identity – an identity as a part of this new family. Of course our culture offers us, as individual consumers, opportunities for certain types of community, but these invariably center on shared and common interests. But the Christian community, because it centers on the person of Jesus, can be truly diverse – made up of all different age groups, gender groups, interest groups, socio-economic backgrounds – and centered on the radical claims of Jesus of Nazareth. And because we were created by God to look like him, and since God is Three – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – which means he is eternally in relationship, we are never closer to the heart of God than when we’re living in this Christ-embodied, image-of-God bearing community.
- In this episode Aaron mistakenly referred to the Apostle Simon as the Apostle Peter (10:49).