Community (theological concept, not the supposedly awesome show)

It’s always the same: I see a strawberry and immediately think to myself, “Hello, roommate.”  There are a million things that remind me of my roommate (Celine Dion [whom she can’t stand], the Houston Rodeo, the Phi Lamb shirt that I may or may not have stolen), and fruit is at the top of that list.  All kinds, too: strawberries, because she loves them but only eats three or four at a time, which has always seemed a bit pointless to me (eat more!).  Watermelon, because of the time it ended all over the carpet thanks to a stomach bug.  Oranges, because we bought them all the time, and we both have high standards for them.  Bananas because she doesn’t eat them, and kiwis because she does.  Apples because she doesn’t love them and will only eat them if there’s nothing else, and pears because I have never seen her eat them, not once.  The only fruit that belongs to me alone is the grape, and I don’t exactly know why.

Anyhow, all of this is to say I tend to take my people along with me when I go places.  I hear a Matchbox Twenty song on the radio and immediately I’m in the kitchen laughing with my mother.  I see anything Texas-shaped and there’s Mauri, cooking Texas-shaped waffles and lecturing on how Texas is better than anywhere else.  I see two friends laughing and smiling and all of a sudden it’s Tori and Jane, making fun of each other.

This week at Oasis we’ve been talking about community: its importance and how necessary it is for changing our world around us.  Timothy Keller, in his “Gospel in Life” book, notes that we cannot know God or change deeply apart from community.  We were not created to be solitary creatures; from Adam and Eve to the church in Acts, we see countless examples of Christians going at it together.  Even Jesus modeled it for us with his disciples.

A few days later I was listening to a Breakaway podcast about Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians.  Paul loves these guys.  He longs to see them, and calls them his “glory and joy” (1 Thess 2:20).  And as I’m running, Ben Stuart asks, “Are you in a community like this?  Do you have people you love like this, and they love you?”  And with every footfall I just kept thinking, “Yes.  Yes, I do, and they are wonderful.”

So.  If you are reading this, you are what makes my community so wonderful.  I have been so blessed, both by the fantastic people I’ve met here through Oasis, and by the people back home who still keep up with me, who keep me in the loop, who deal with my constant requests for skype dates (ahem, Andrea Braugh).  I’m thankful for the FBC Bryan group, for the potluck crowd, for those I’ve met through various small groups and through different organizations.  You are my glory and joy, and I love you.

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