Devotions based on James Smith’s book, The Good and Beautiful Community

Sometimes we may think that the community exists to serve me and my needs, and that they should not tell me what to do. We live in a consumer culture and it leads us to believe we are entitled to have all of our needs met. Narcissism is present in our churches as well, and when we church shop we want one that makes us feel comfortable…one with low expectations of us as participants. But the good and beautiful community wants more… it exists to shape and guide our souls, to provide encouragement and accountability that we need. Isn’t it better to have a community that is not afraid to ask us to make a commitment to our own spiritual growth and service to others? Who offers us a pattern of transformation?  One who challenges us to become who we already are? ( One in whom Christ dwells)   Who watches over us with love, offering comfort but also warning so we can grow in Christlikeness?

As we gather together to worship we are being shaped into a people being transformed by God and being sent out to change the world.  When we leave worship as all new people, we are inspired by our connection to one another and the old old story to bring the aroma of Christ to the world.  Isn’t that awesome?