We all want to be part of real community: a place where we are loved, accepted, and taken care of in times of stress and struggle. We live in a world where it is increasingly difficult to find this kind of community. Our physical families are sometimes split and often are scattered across a wide geographic area. We barely know the people where we work. We rarely know our neighbors. However, I saw community in action the other day.

I went to a funeral. As a minister, that is not unusual. In fact, I conduct more funerals than many people attend. But this funeral was different. A couple had lost their thirty-two year old, single son to a hit and run accident. The parents arranged the funeral and five men conducted it. None of them were preachers, though they all went to church together. Three of the men were part of their fellowship group at church. One of the men was an elder of the church they all attend. The other man was in an accountability group/recovery group with the Dad.

The service was not very polished. It was not very professional. It was different than most. But it was real community; not just words, but in action. These men were brothers. There was a physical family present at the funeral, but I was struck by the “real” family. The community that cried, prayed, gave, hurt, hugged, and together sent one of their family home. That was the term they used: home. They didn’t talk about death, or the grave. They talked about seeing their son again and living forever.

Just in that group of men there were ones that had lost children of their own, men who had marriages fail, men who battled addictions, and men facing incurable illness. But what I saw was Jesus. That is the community I want to be a part of…and I am.

You can be too. I can put you in touch with people committed to being that kind of community in this world. They would love to have you join them.

We all long to part of something authentic...real community that connects to each other.
Write me at steve@hopeforlife.org.

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