It's one of my favorite words. Honestly, truly. Not because I like it phonetically or linguistically, but because I love what it means.
I love that we can be in a community and of a community and those two can look drastically different. I love that when I look out the window, into my community, I see my many neighbors and know that each of them represent hundreds, maybe even thousands, of different communities to which they belong.
I love that I live in a small Midwest American suburban community and yet feel strongly a part of an infinitely-enormous multi-cultural multi-ethnic multi-lingual eternal community.
Recently, we spent an evening with some folks who share both our physical community and our eternal community.
We live in a small condominium development that sits directly across the street from a large neighborhood of single family homes. The neighborhood is great, and in fact, it's on our list of neighborhoods we'd consider moving to if/when we sell our condo (Lord willing). I wouldn't say it's at the top of the list, but it's up there.
At least that was the case until recently.
Last month we gathered with five other families who live in that neighborhood. It just so happens that a handful of our friends from our church community live in the neighborhood-across-the-street. And it was this recent gathering of friends that made me yearn to live in their neighborhood.
There's something so special about spending the evening with dear friends who share so much - school, mayor, zip code, seasons, neighborhood association dues, floor plans, grocery store, church, and most importantly, Jesus.
I left there begging God to take away my covetous spirit - I have never wanted to move out of this condo and into a house so badly.
For now, I am thankful that these friends are kind enough to include us in their community. Though we don't technically live in the neighborhood, we are literally a stone's throw away. And for that I am so very blessed.
They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.