Sunday, October 9th - I Love My Church - Community

I hope you have all had a fantastic week so far! I must say, this new series "I Love My Church" has given me a lot to think on throughout the week and has opened my eyes to some changes I need to make.

If you have missed any of the previous message, I encourage you to watch the recorded live-stream by clicking here!

"Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:19-25

Personally, a sense of community is something I struggle to live without. I may not have realized at the time, but looking back on my life I can pinpoint times where I lacked a sense of spiritual community and belonging. During these times, the stress of life was amplified, missing Sunday service was much easier, spiritual accountability was absent, and life just felt lonelier. I understand that everyone is different when it comes to social interactions and meeting new people, but we must understand that experiencing community with other believers is not only encouraged by Scripture, it is instructed.

Pastor Scott delivered a powerful message this past Sunday on the importance of cultivating community within our church, and also provided some warnings against sabotaging it (whether knowingly, or unknowingly). Let's take a deeper look at this passage from the book of Hebrews and see how we can apply this message to our lives and our church.
Jesus has torn down the barriers...

What we need to recognize first and foremost is that Jesus has removed any and all barriers that sin will attempt to build in our lives to keep us from community with God and with one another. The first verse of this passage reassures us that through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the veil that once separated God from His people has been ripped in two - making community with God the Father available to all! What a powerful message this is...

For more information on the significance of the torn veil, check out this article: 

In short, the veil represented the great chasm that stood between a Holy God and sinful man - the presence of God present on one side of the veil, only accessible by the high priest one day per year.

Jewish tradition states that the veil was somewhere around 60 feet high and 4 inches thick. With all of this in mind, you can see how impactful the tearing of the veil really was! In Matthew 27 we see that in the moment of Jesus' death on the cross, the veil was torn in two from top to bottom. A feat only made possible by God Himself.

In that moment, God communicated that His people would no longer be separated from Him by the law. Jesus broke down the barrier and made a relationship with God the Father accessible for anyone who will to accept His gift of love.

So, if you are a born-again believer, know that Jesus has torn down the barriers that sin constructs in your life. You can go to God freely. You can thrive in community with other believers and live a life free from the bondage of sin - you just have to cling to Jesus.

If you're reading this and you're not sure if you've experienced that freedom...maybe it feels like sin has a death grip on you, and everywhere you turn you're facing a wall that separates you from God, from others...know that Jesus can tear down those walls, just ask him! 
...don't rebuild barriers in your life! 

We just discussed how Jesus has removed any obstacle that could possibly stand between us and God, or even between us and community with other believers...but often times, we attempt to rebuild these walls in our life. We may not do in on purpose, or even be aware that it is happening, but we see it far too often. We are ashamed to let someone else see the reality that we aren't the picture-perfect Christian that we portray when we put on our Sunday best. We're scared to admit that we mess up, we let people down, and we fail sometimes...

You know what? Everyone fails at times. We all have things we are ashamed of. We all fall short... This is what makes community even more meaningful in our lives! If we can open up, let others in and tear down those walls, we will find that we have even more in common with fellow believers. Not only that, but we will find that we are stronger together and we can hold each other accountable. We can encourage each other in the hard times, celebrate with each other in the good times, and grieve together in the painful times. But, if all we do is paint on a happy face, say "Hey how's it going?" on Sunday and then head home to start another busy work-week, we'll never experience community the way God intended.
Lastly, I just want to add my own personal plug here... I have to say that the community at Marsh Lane Baptist Church is something I have been seeking for quite some time. It only took a few Sundays for me to see that there is something special about the people who attend this church, and I knew I wanted my family to be a part of it. That being said, we cannot become complacent. I want to thank each of you for your contribution to the healthy community that has been cultivated at MLBC, and also commit to you that I will do my part to cultivate it even more. We should all strive to further our reach, deepen our relationships and maximize our impact on those around us.

How has your life been impacted since we began this series? What new names can your put to faces at church since the beginning of the month? Have you shared a meal with someone at the church lately? Share your experience below in the comments! 

1 Comment

Janeybrown - October 15th, 2022 at 5:40pm

I love our church and the community the Caleb Class has forever provided.

Thank you for the insight your blog provides, it is good reading and though provoking. ❤️🙏