Have you ever noticed how often God addresses communities as opposed to individuals? There are hundreds of “ours” and “we’s” and “us’” in the text. There are also loads of “I’s” and “me’s” too. But as I compare the “ours” to the “mines” I’ve noticed my own use of the plural is lopsided compared to the singular. I pray for my faith, or for my friend’s faith. I rarely pray for our faith, for our health or our protection.
A friend asked for a ride to the airport recently, and of course I agreed. And later I thought about how great it is that I have a global family to call on if I ever need anything, that those of us who know Christ are brothers and sisters. In this new family I have fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles, cousins and nephews. We, I realized, are the family of God.
I read a book many years ago called Love and Survival by Dr. Dean Ornish. Ornish is a heart surgeon and has done extensive research involving heart health. His findings were surprising. What is most important to heart health, according to Ornish, is community. That’s right…other people. Patients who suffered from a heart attack were more likely to recover if they had a dog, and also if they were in a good marriage, and then also if they were part of a close-knit community. They could also take medicine, but the medicine helped about as much as the community, Ornish found. In other words, we were designed to work best when we were in loving relationships.
It’s no wonder that so much of Scripture is addressed to groups. We were designed to live in community.
Do you have a community? Do you have a group that is as close, or even closer, than family?
I’m going to start praying for us, not just for me, and for us, instead of just for you. I like being in this with you. Faith is better together than alone.