by: Vince Russell
“When you get your hands dirty with love, you don’t have time to be critical. You don’t have time to argue about the things that don’t really matter. Love people. Truly love people today.” - @sampicken
There are one million and one things I could say about the Socality Live event this past weekend in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. But for the sake of writing a novel, I would like to touch on one simple topic – community. Community equals love.
The unknown author of Hebrews 6 speaks on loving others by saying in verse 10 and 11, “For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love for him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.”
We all possess the innate desire for fellowship, belonging, community and, most importantly, love. But what drives these desires? Where do they come from? The answer is simple: they come from the Creator of all things, the Alpha and the Omega, the Holy One.
Genesis 1:27 tells us:
“God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them.”
Made in His likeness, we possess some of the same characteristics as He does. He desires fellowship with His creation. He desires love from His creation. He desires His creation to fellowship in community.
Webster’s defines community as a unified body of individuals. This past weekend, I, like many others I spoke to, were truly able to see what a community looks and should look like. Believers, and possibly non-believers alike, from all over the world, were able to come together in corporate worship and fellowship. We were able to set aside our cultural differences, our geographical locations and our selfish desires to truly connect with one other.
I had the good fortune of road tripping up to Calgary from Dallas, Texas, with three amazing people. We then met up with six others in Fort Collins, Colorado, and carried on with our journey. Some of these people I had never met before. However, almost instantly, it felt as if I had known them for a lifetime.
The same can be said for (literally) everyone I met and interacted with in Calgary. Never in my life have I felt so connected to new friends, old friends and complete strangers.
I say all that to say this: community equals love. Our Heavenly Father desires for His creation to engage in community. He desires for us to love Him first then love others. His desire is that the church would not be confined to the four walls, but instead, branch out into the unknowns around the world, love people from all walks of life and care for everyone we meet.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Scott Bakken couldn’t have this any better:
“We don’t want segregation, we want invitation.”
Everyone desires a sense of belonging. Everyone desires to be a part of community. If we will simply love one another, no matter what race, religion, skin color, et cetera, we will be answering one of the highest callings in life.