I have been reading text from our website, and listening at meetings and the one phrase resonates the most with me is that our purpose is “building a community of faith”. I like the word “building”. We could say we are “becoming” or “creating” or even that we “are” a community of faith. But “building” is better I think, because it is an effort to build and is often never done- as you find out when you have a house. Building is a process, a continual process that requires people of different skills to each contribute what they can do best. You wouldn’t want to live in a house only build by plumbers or electricians and how would you get into a house only built by roofers? Jesus came to show us how to be the best human, and he was a builder. We need to be builders too. Not expecting to finish the job, but to be at the job of building.
I also like the phrase “community of faith”. Again other words would work too- like family, but community is bigger. Communities are made up of many different kinds of people that need to work, to coordinate and communicate, to be a functional collective. And a community is something that must be built and continually rebuilt. But to what purpose- a community of what?
Of faith. And that is the most difficult and wonderful word of all. To have faith is a struggle for many of us, me included. But we can decide to take the leap of faith and to work to build a community based on faith. That means we are more than a community of people, but a community with God as a member. God as the architect and contractor of our community of builders.
And that brings me to one more consequence of being a community of Faith. Faith means deciding what God wants and striving for that- regardless of if it is likely to work or even if is does work. The only criteria to decide what we will do, or what we will build is – is that what God wants. But to leave behind trying to figure out the outcome of what we are doing and just do what God wants is hard. It takes faith. Sometimes you see people who receive awards point to the heavens and say the glory goes to God. The success belongs to God. They just worked but that it worked out well is to God’s credit. I think they are right. But do you ever see someone give God the credit for a failure- for last place. Even if we are not so vain as to take credit for the success, but we are vain enough to take credit for the failures. If we ultimately don’t have control on making something succeed, then why do we think we are solely in control of if it fails. Isn’t that vanity too? Ultimately we can’t control the outcome of most of our lives. It isn’t for us to know or base our actions on what will happen- that is to God. It takes faith to base our actions on what God wants and leave the rest to him.
Our purpose is to build, to do our very best to act with and for each other in ways that builds a good community. And more than that, we are to act with and for God as the core of our community- a community of faith. We need to be working at building a community of faith and then a watch what happens. Knowing whatever it is, as long as it is with God, it what we were meant to do.