I am always a critic of how overused the word “community” is used here at Union. During my tours every week, I find myself having to use it more and more. “The courtyard helps build community” or “The RAs are here to form community among their residents” or “SAC exists to have a bond of community among the students.” I admit it. I get so tired of saying it and hearing it over and over and over…and over again. But this week, I have realized how important Christian community really is.
On Monday nights, I have been going to a small, informal gathering of students called Echo. We meet every Monday night at 9:30 in D-3. We show up with no line-up or any kind of organization. We simply start with prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to move as He wishes. Sometimes we sing hymns or praise songs; we always read at least one verse of Scripture. This past Monday, 6 of us showed up, and we decided to really zone in on thankfulness. It occurred to our leader that Thanksgiving gets overlooked more and more every year after Halloween and we move on to Christmas. No one seems to care about Thanksgiving anymore because “it isn’t fun like the other two holidays.” So we made sure to have a time to give thanks to the Lord for His innumerable blessings towards us. I ended up giving my testimony and sharing a few great recent blessings I have been receiving lately. It was awesome to hear myself say all those things.
And then, somehow or another, my friend Jeremiah started a little something. Each member there went around the circle of friends and described how he/she and the other person met. That was followed by ways that he/she appreciates the other person and what he/she is thankful for in that person. You talk about mass encouragement! And we always end with prayer and hugs for everyone. NO ONE LEAVES WITHOUT A HUG. Period. We structured our prayer by praying out loud for the needs of the person to your right. It. Was. Incredible.
And now I have finally grasped the concept of how important Christian community is. I will no longer be a critic of how overused the word is. It doesn’t matter how often we say it. It matters how often we’re blessed by it.