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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”—Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 (NIV)
I recently worked at an overnight Christian summer camp in Northern Georgia for about eight weeks. This Scripture reminds me of camp because I got to share this verse with elementary and middle school girls while in a yellow tutu and wearing bumble bee wings alongside my fellow coworker in a sea cow outfit every Thursday evening. Sounds a bit chaotic right? Well, to give you some context, this camp consisted of three different clubs. All the girls were divided into these clubs and did their activities based on club rotations. Every Thursday night, the three clubs would come together, sing their songs and yell their chants, and compete in a sort of relay race for the coveted legendary necklace.
Before announcing the winner; however, my friend and I would circle each other as we talked to the circle of girls around us about this verse. We emphasized that, though there are three clubs, there is only one camp. Using this verse, we got to show these girls that together we are stronger, and together we can do so much more.
This concept is not just important to teach competitive little girls though! It’s also an important concept we must see for its biblical truth! You see, friends, community is not just in God’s nature (being that He is three in one), and it is not just in His design (being that we are made to be in relationship with one another). Community is also for our benefit.
God could have chosen to make us completely self-sufficient and non-relational, yet He did the exact opposite. First, He made us reliant on Him, but He also made us relational beings because He saw the beauty in making us for community. Although we must not make our relationships an idolatrous endeavor, putting them before our relationship with the Lord, we must not avoid the fact that we innately desire to be in community with others, even if it is hard at times.
The beautiful thing about God; however, is that He is a God of redemption and restoration. This means that whatever trauma or difficulties we endure from negative community experiences, He can take them and use them to grow us because that is who He is and because His intention for the body is that we grow to “become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22 NIV).
Pause: How have you seen or experienced the power and beauty of community?
Practice: If you’re a part of a Christ-centered community already, spend some more intentional time with them this week for your enjoyment and nourishment! If not, then pray about finding a community that will be beneficial to your faith and overall life.
Pray: Thank You Lord for creating us for community. Thank You that in addition to You exhibiting the perfect example of community and You being glorified in our community, You also allow us to find enjoyment in community because it’s for our benefit as well. I ask that You help me grow in Christ-centered community as I seek You every day. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.