The word community has many meanings and uses. Probably the most frequently used definition is related to sharing something in common with others. So it is with Christian community. The thing that holds us together in Christian community is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
In his book Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that Christian community is first and foremost a gift of God. We can’t build it; we can’t force it to happen. It is a gift. We also cannot keep it from happening or tear it down.
As we seek more unity in our community, let our weekly prayer be: God of community, thank you for this precious gift. Move us away from walls to bridges, from ignorance to understanding, from prejudice to celebration. Open our eyes, our hearts, our minds, our understandings, that we may see you in our sisters and brothers. Help us to honor and celebrate the community that is your gift to us, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
This message was adapted from “Theology and Community” by Bonnie Belasic that appeared in the July/August 1991 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.