Community, In Spite of Comfort2
One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for.
Knowing where you belong, that you’re at home somewhere, is core to our flourishing and survival.
Naomi here proposes to Ruth that it’s time to “find a home” for her. But the word that gets translated “home” actually means more like “find rest” or “make sure you’re all settled and provided for.”
Some of us have struggled to ever find a home, to find a place where we feel settled. When a church is working right, we fill some of that gap.
The vision of the church in the New Testament is a place where formerly independent people, even people who were once enemies, become family. In many cases, people who accepted Christ were ostracized by their families. The church literally became their new family, their home, the place where they found their rest and were provided for—emotionally, financially, food and shelter, all of it.
As a church, we want to grow into becoming this type of a community. In some ways, the relief of not experiencing the level of ancient persecution is a hindrance to us. If you think about some of your most significant relationships, chances are there was some depth forged when you went through a difficult time.
We don’t know the privileged of sacrificing for other people to the degree of the ancient church. We don’t have one-sixteenth the experience of genuine, deep, committed community for the sake of Christ.
But maybe we can start where we are.
What do you think it would mean to help create a place of rest and shelter for someone around you in the church? What’s one step you could take in that direction? What do you think it would look like for our church to become that kind of community? How might we grow together in that direction?