One of the times our nation has felt the closest sense of community was in the days following 9/11. Flags were everywhere. People felt connected. Churches were jam packed. People needed to be together and they knew it. This is because of a pretty universal concept that community naturally arises out of big events. Today, we don’t feel as close as a nation as we did nine years ago. Things have faded. Our urgency has decreased. Dividing walls sprang up, again, and choked out the community we experienced for a short while. You wonder what it will take to get that feeling back.
The church arose out of BIG events. In Acts 2 you have a big setting – Pentecost. You have big news – The messiah has come, you killed him but he lives again. You have a big response – 3000 people become Christians. The result is tight knit community (Acts 2:42-47). Many of us have read that chapter or parts of that chapter dozens of times and it is easy to miss just how big all of it really was.
The amazing thing is, unlike the community we experienced following September 11th, this community continues to thrive. It just keeps on keeping on. There is no stopping it because the events that took place in those events and the events leading up to it were bigger than anything we can imagine. Community followed.
It is easy to forget that. It is easy to let dividing walls arise within the Christian community. But we have to remember that we all have the same Lord, faith and baptism. We are indwelled by the same Spirit. We have the same blood washing our sins away. We are brought together by the biggest and boldest events that had taken place in human history since the words, “Let there be light.” The words “What God has joined together let no man separate” is true not just in marriage but also in the church. If you are struggling with unity or community, remember where you came from and remember God is the one who started it all of in a BIG, BIG way!