Sunday, February 16, 2014

Communion to Community

Communion is to hear the voice of God. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. [John 10:27]. The communion is also what Jesus refers to as abiding in Him. Jesus said I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 

The invitation God extends to have communion with Him is an open invitation to liberate oneself from the need to fit in, the need to prove one's self-worth and the need to achieve or to be successful in order to be be accepted and loved. To have communion with God is to experience a true liberation from the slavery of self-centredness, in other words, freedom from the needs and concerns of our own self.

We are the sheep of Jesus the Good shepherd. The sheep of His flock is not under pressure to prove or achieve in order to be loved and accepted. They are free to be themselves. They are free to do what they are naturally good at. Their lives are guided by the voice of the Good shepherd that they unmistakably recognise and unconditionally trust. They are sure footed in their steps and are lead to green pastures. They are guarded as by a fortress from enemies. They hear the voice of the shepherd and the shepherd hears the voice of the sheep too. There are times in the life of the sheep when the shepherd leaves the flock in the wilderness and goes searching for a sheep that is lost. The flock by now knows even if their master is not in their sight, he still is there.

A man who is in communion with God learns the nature of God's love and trusts the voice that seldom ceases to whisper "Fear not I'm with you".

In the second example of communion, Jesus calls us to abide in Him as the branches abide in the vine. The branches receive their life from the vine. The pride of the shepherd is his flock and the pride of the vine are the branches. It is on the branches that the fruits are visible. It is the sheep that become useful for others.

Community is a family of those who hear, abide and commune with God living together. They are like the flock and the branches. They hear the same voice yet recognise what it means for each of them. They do not compete but complement. They are the Church, united by the one only head Jesus and bound and sustained together in love by the Holy Spirit.

It is communion that leads to community.