26 May 2017

Rooted in Community

Community is a sacred thing. A God thing. Community was created to feed us mentally, spiritually, and physically. The first community we read about in the Bible was Adam and Eve with God in the garden – walking, talking, sharing life together. We were never meant to walk alone. Never meant to carry life’s burdens all on our own shoulders. “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Genesis 2:18. We were meant for community, for sharing life together, for helping each other. These are the very things Jesus modeled for his disciples while he walked with them. His miracles fed, healed and filled up the spirit of those around him. His was an open door policy, a welcoming beacon, a ready helping hand in the midst of life’s struggle.

Unfortunately, this concept of community loses its immediacy, its necessity, its Truth as the world moves in close. When life gets hard, we have a tendency to withdraw from our community and attempt to handle things all on our own. We hold to this very difficult ideal of self-sufficiency, dogged perseverance through hard things, and never showing weakness. But this is exactly the opposite of what we were designed for. We are meant to live in close fellowship first and foremost with God: John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”, and Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”. Secondly, but no less important, we are also to live in close fellowship with each other: Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”, and Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…”.

“Encouraging one another…”

As a Christian and a homeschool parent, this world can sometimes feel like the loneliest place to me. I wrestle with juxtaposing the ideals of the world versus what God is calling me to. I struggle with our daily family routines and how to bring God closer in the every day details. And I labor over curriculum choices and extra-curricular activities. When I attack these things in my own strength, I quickly become overwhelmed and exhausted. Let’s face it. This is no small calling: growing personally in Christ in a world that habitually rejects Him, raising and shepherding a family to intentionally follow after His light. These are big things. Weighty things. And I feel their burden. All. The. Time.

And then I will mention something to a friend, even in a passing oblique way, about a current struggle and our conversation will suddenly bloom open like a flower in a time-lapse video. We find ourselves saying things like, “What?!? You too? And you figured it out how, exactly?” It’s like the most beautiful gift, wrapped with exquisite care and placed purposefully before me. It’s God’s way of saying, “You are NOT alone.” The knowledge that someone else is struggling with the same issue is such a relief. I’m not weird, obsessive, or strange after all. This is normal. Or maybe they struggled with a similar issue years ago and found an ingenious way to solve the problem. And they share that knowledge with you. Amazing! Life changing.

This is community!

This is how staying close to each other and sharing life’s burdens becomes the way we uplift one another. Whether you provide meals or carpool or yard care to someone who needs a helping hand, or perhaps you provide advice or a solution you found helpful in a certain situation, or maybe you just provide a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on over a cup of coffee. This is life giving, soul lifting, eternal hands and feet community at its best. We were made for this! 1 Thessalonians 5:14 “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

I encourage you to open yourself to community. Reveal your true self to those around you. Share your joys, your fears, your burdens. And you will find relief, inspiration, energy, and joy. Sometimes, just hearing the passion and intention someone else shares is enough to spur you on. Or maybe you will find that sharing your story becomes the source of someone else’s discovery. Find a community in which you can be intentionally participatory, lifted up, and loved.

Community. It’s a God thing!

Need a community? Rooted is a refreshing community built on learning Biblical Truth in order to grow in due season. We must be taught, and from that teaching, be encouraged and inspired in order to continue on the path that God has for us. Growth takes time. It is a process. It happens by daily attending to what is important. Every person who enters into this new learning community will be encouraged not just to attend one event, but to fully and wholeheartedly see that growth takes time and many encounters and will come in due season.

Rooted offers different learning environments tailored to specific topics and audiences. Linda’s vision for Rooted is that this will become a place that is known not only for life-changing learning, but also for new friendships that will last a lifetime.


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