How and Why do we Construct Community?
Sermon for Sunday July 1, 2012 by Harry Morgan
Using Canada Day as a lead in, Harry asked us if we knew why Canada was named CANADA? Do you know?
Canada in the Iroquois tongue, “Kanata”, meant village, settlement or community.
We took at look at the reasons for needing a community.
- The desire to live together for safety, security, and trade.
- We needed laws or agreements to make sure we worked well together.
But besides needs we also want community. There is a deep desire in us to join with others.
God has built into our hearts a desire to be with people who have common causes. He named political associations, general associations, service clubs, band and teams as some examples.
Then there is the CHURCH.
Jesus came to rebuild the disconnect between God and His people. God is all about relationship – between Him and us. Jesus came as a human to identify with us, but also to pay the penalty for our sin so that we can be in a loving relationship with God.
When we get into this LOVE relationship with God we can’t help but want to love others.
Apostle John says:
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20, NIV).
The Church Community:
There is no community like a church community. Our common goal is Jesus – but we come with many differences. Nothing is as deep as a church community. It is a prototype of the Kingdom to come – but we still struggle here on earth. But in church we can learn to work through our differences for a common goal – Jesus.
Harry then unpacked our Scripture from Romans 12:9-13.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13 NIV). [my bolding]
Here are some highlights:
Jesus hated pretension – remember the “woe you Pharisees”. He wants us to be sincere and authentic.
Sometimes as Canadians we are too tolerant of wrongs. We are to seek justice and make changes to our community promote that justice. And stop being negative unless you are willing to do something about it.
Love does NOT insist on its own way.
A community heals as well as builds up. We learn to serve one another.
Have spiritual fervour. Be filled with the Holy Spirit
These are radical principles for loving each other in community. This is what church could look like.
What are you doing to strengthen your church community? How is God leading you to serve others?
Another Scripture that I love, from Micah has the same idea – similar words.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV).