Oh, yes, it’s time for more of the Made in God’s Image series! Actually, this might qualify as a series within a series, but I’m not sure about the rules on that. My last blog was :Relationship. We looked at some ideas about what God’s desire for a relationship looks like. Today I want to look at Community.
 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27
God is a community, a relationship. He did not need us so he could have friends; he wanted to invite us into the incredible intimacy and relationship that He as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit already had. This happens when we believe in Jesus, putting our faith in him as the payment for our debts against God once and for all. We now have access to God’s heart. We can know his thoughts, his ways, his will. Just like getting to know another person, knowing God is a process of learning to hear his voice, getting to know what he likes and doesn’t like, and allowing him to love and know you.
Something else happens, though, something crazy, when we receive this beautifulsalvation. We are not just brought into relationship with God, we become the Body of Christ, the Church, the Bride. Maybe you weren’t aware that you signed up for this big, crazy family. Maybe you thought it was just going to be you and Jesus for eternity. Well yes, but no.
 For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).  For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, AMP
The lines get blurred between our relationship with God, and our connection to the Body, each other. The moment you have a relationship with God, through Jesus, you become a member of God’s family, His Bride. You cannot escape that you are now eternally connected to each and every believer!
Jesus prays for all believers in John 17:
 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:  I in them and you in me. John 17:22-23 NIV
Community can be messy! We were designed for intimacy, connection, and love. But our insecurities, hurts, and past scars create awkward, messy moments. Through all of that we must learn to love, pursue community and connection, and stay out of the trap of offense.
We were designed for this connection to the Body! We must not try to live life alone! We must allow this community, the Church, to shape and equip us. This is the place where we will learn our value, and learn to value others. In the midst of very different personalities, gifts, callings, and talents we will learn what true Christlike unity and service are.
Don’t miss out on this beautiful, though messy, opportunity to be perfectly fitted and joined to this crazy thing, the Church! We must learn to do life together, and do it well. Are you connected to the Body of Christ? What wisdom have you learned from staying connected?
Thanks for reading,
Here is a link to the podcast of the message, God’s Image Bearers on 10/20/13, I go through this idea more in the message.