It’s not easy, in our busy schedules and tendency to live very isolated lives, to be part of a community that is knitted together in love. Even when we are a part of a local church, we can still avoid deep connections, afraid to open ourselves to other people and to allow them to see our vulnerabilities and real self. We can sometimes seem to be like ships that pass in the night, not really knowing each other and not being committed to each other except in a very superficial way. This is not how God intended life to be.
If we are to deepen the connections between each other so that we truly do love each other as Jesus wants us to, we will need to spend time together, learning how to connect. We need to learn to listen to each other, being tolerant and accepting of differences as we all work towards the common goal of becoming more like Jesus. Paul gave us the picture of how to be united with Christ: ‘having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 2:2-5) We can’t hope to do this in our own strength, but God never intended the church to be a place run by people! He is our Head and by His Spirit we can be knitted together in love. We are joined by God; we are His hands and His feet in this world, created to demonstrate what love looks like (John 13:34-35) and to re-connect people with Him through the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:17-21)