Community is the place where the person you least desire to live with always lives. Often we surround ourselves with the persons we most want to live with, which forms a club or a clique, not a community. Anyone can form a club; it takes grace, shared vision, and hard work to form a community.

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The Christian church was the first institution in history to bring together on equal footing Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slaves and free. The apostle Paul waxed eloquent on the "mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God." By forming a community out of diverse members, Paul said, we have the opportunity to capture the attention of the world and even the supernatural world beyond (Ephesians 3:9-10).

In some ways the church has sadly failed in this assignment. Still, church is the one place we visit that brings together generations: infants still held in their mothers arms, children who squirm and giggle at all the wrong times, responsible adults who know how to act appropriately at all times, and those who may drift asleep if the preacher drones on too long.

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If we want the community experience God is offering to us, we have reason to seek a congregation of people "not like us>" The person who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world.

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