Friendship. Community. Tribe. Everywhere we turn these days, we are forced to “connect” with others. It’s almost as if the world isn’t okay with our isolated lifestyles. But have we considered that it’s not the world that’s hoping we'll find purpose in community? Maybe it’s the gentle voice of the Father telling us that He placed others on the earth to help provide, protect, and encourage us.
I believe that we were not created to live our lives alone, but instead, in regular communion with others. In Genesis, God lays out His story for creation. Before He was finished, he chose to create man as a caretaker of this world, and recognized that man needed companionship. Genesis 2:18 tell us, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” Eve was created and designed for the purpose of being Adam’s companion.
We were created for community.
In 1 Samuel 18, the writer tells a beloved story of friendship. Remember David, the shepherd boy who killed Goliath? He was living under the care of King Saul after fighting the mighty giant and learning the ways of war. As Saul watched David's successes in battle, Saul became threatened by the young boy turned beloved warrior. As Saul plotted to kill David many times, it was his son, Jonathan, who came to David’s rescue. Jonathan, the heir to Israel's throne, recognized the beauty in God’s calling over David and was willing to put his own future aside to help a friend fulfill his own. By hiding David from King Saul, Jonathan protected David, allowing him to escape unscathed. Scripture so beautifully says that God “knit” David’s heart to Jonathan’s. David’s safety led to his success as king, and eventually led to the coming of our Savior. God used friendship to preserve the bloodline of Jesus and our salvation.
One of the most beautiful images of community we find in Scripture is Jesus and His disciples. He was the Son of God, the Savior of the world. He didn’t need sidekicks. He could walk on water and raise men from the dead, BUT Jesus CHOSE to share His life with 12 others. He leaned on them during hardship, grieved with them in loss, taught them of the promises of the Father, and shared stories and meals almost daily. He knew that His life on earth and ministry were best fulfilled through sharing it with others, with men who could watch first-hand and retell the stories of his life, long after He left the earth. Jesus used community to tell His story.
So what does this mean for us today? It’s a reminder that we were created to share life with others. As followers of Christ, we need one another to remind us of Truth when we’re swimming in darkness or sin. We need one another to celebrate the good days, the marriages and babies, the houses and promotions. We need one another to cry during the losses, pray during the trials, and pick us up when we can’t stand on our own. We need people who will stand in the gap for us, will encourage us to be bold and brave, and will challenge us to stand out from the world.
We need each other. And more importantly, God created us FOR each other, serving together and inviting others to join us. His ministry and His stories are best told around dining room tables, on living room couches, in passenger seats, or across your office desks. So invite a friend for dinner and begin building your community, or say yes next time you’re invited to an event. Introduce yourselves to the couple next to you in church, or sign up to serve at an event or in a ministry.
Pray that God reveals who He “knit” for you, and thank Him when He provides.