• Beth Hildebrand

The Need And Importance Of Community

Prayer is such a powerful AND personable act of worship, action of love and activity of fellowship with the holy Trinity – God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That is what chapter 17 in the book of John in the Bible is – Jesus’ prayer to God. And the wonderful thing about it is that we can participate. When you are a woman in whom Christ dwells, you get to experience this intimate relationship that Jesus did the night he was praying to his (and our) Father.

What a gift we’re given to see proof of the full extension of love between the holy Trinity through this prayer. I wrote these words in my Bible years ago beside the verse that says, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” : “Jesus – an ageless God reminiscing”. Where I heard or read that, I don’t remember, but I’m glad I wrote it down because it makes God become even more personable, for me.

It also makes me think of my previous post when I wondered what was going through Jesus’ mind when he washed each disciple’s feet. Was he reminiscing about the times they had together? God created us in His image…and the holy Trinity is a beautiful example of the need, importance and essence of community. I think we’re all realizing that now during COVID19.

The first part of this prayer that we’ve read today is the part of the prayer where Jesus is praying for himself and telling his Father that he has done what he was sent to do and was ready to return back to Him at His right side. He’s also thanking God for gift of each person God gave him. (vs. 2) You see, the Holy Trinity didn’t/doesn’t NEED anyone else because they have each other, BUT they WANT to have relationships and friendships with the people He created and loves. The Trinity is not only for themselves, but also an example for us to witness the gift of communion with Him and with others. And Jesus got to experience that in flesh when he walked the earth for 30+ years. It was as if He was thanking God for the opportunity, or gift, he was given.

Chapter 17 exhibits how communion and community with God, through prayer, is an expression of true love.

From experience, I can understand the importance and need of community in our daily lives, with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as and example of how to make it work. Of course there’s been people who have gone before us who teach about it, mentor leaders and show by example the benefts of being in a community, small group, circle of friends, whatever you want to call it.

It should be called, “Doing Life Together”. For over 25 years, my husband and I, along with our family, have been part of a small community group. It started in college when I was in a Young Life small group, and once we were married, my husband and I joined a church and sought out a new small group to connect with others. After being in a few other community groups, there’s one, made up of seven families, we’ve “done life” with for almost 17 years.

We’ve expereinced meals together, weekends away together, been to each of our kids birthday parties, parents funerals, divorce, marriage, Bible studies, fun, good and hard conversations, prayer and fellowship with each other and with God. It’s been living in the here and now of the kingdom of heaven. It’s a sweet gift of which I’m grateful.

And I think, if that’s been good, how much greater is the fellowship of the Trinity once in heaven, being in the community of the kingdom of God. I look foward to those conversations with the Trinity in person, face to face, and something to look forard to.

Holy Trinity, thank you for being a beautiful example of communion and community for us. May we glorify and reflect You when we’re in communion and community with You and others in our lives. May we catch sight, imagine, hear and feel the love You have for each other in our every day lives. Help us to pay attention. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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