Summary: The greatest need for our time is genuine community.
Created for Community
Big idea: As bearers of the image of the Triune God, the greatest need of our time is genuine community.
I am convinced that the greatest need of our time is genuine community. For instance, I see it ozzing out in the world cup of soccer. I am seeing people spending money buying vuvuzuelas, u know those plastic ugly sounding horns, which sounds like bees buzzing, and blowing them as if there is no tomorrow. I see people spending tons of cash just to be in South Africa, pouring money for souvenirs, hotels and meals and not only that but braving the crime-ridden streets of dangerous South Africa, where people are afraid of stopping their cars at red-lights for fear of being car-jacked. No matter the costs and inconvenience, these folks wanted sooo bad to be part of the soccer-crazed community of the fifa 2010 world cup. They could ‘ve watch the whole tournament on a TV set safe in their homes far away from soccer hooligans and the infamous crime ridden streets but they chose with all their hard-earned money to be in South Africa and having their ears ripped apart by the vuvuzeulas, just to have the world community of soccer come alive for them.
Last week, I got a haircut. The barber and I got talking about the world cup and he enjoyed it so much that he said he’d give me the best haircut ever. Then last Sunday for lunch, the owner of a Chinese restaurant was spitting mad because the Australians were massacred by the Germans 4-0, saying that the Aussies are a disgrace to world soccer. Why such passion? Could it be for the simple fact it in soccer we the inhabitants of this world found some sense of connection, even if it is somewhat supeficial -community.
Yes, soccer would be horrible, if it is just a solo activity. Imagine trying to score a goal by yourself, while you are also the goalkeeper, and the opposing team, I tried it. Can’t be done! Even if it is done, it is always done with an imaginary crowd shouting your name, because you just scored the imaginary goal with a ball bending free kick from some incredible distance. Or play acting an injury when there is no one to kick your shins. Just would not be the same. Or imagine blowing the vuvuzuela horn by yourself, just does not have the same impact as 60,000 others doing the same.
Remember how the 2010 winter Olympics drew all of us Canadians together, singing national anthem on the streets, wearing Canada paraphernalia proudly, Vancouver downtown was party central. Proud to belong to Canada and every medal we got, we partied!! There is something good about living it up, with others. And if it means taking the skytrain to downtown Vancouver, rather than driving there, so be it. We just want to be part of the community that’s living it up.
That is why beer commercials do not really sell beer. Have you not seen how they sell “living it up with others” or what Christians call “community”. Do they not sell good looking horny people partying with other good looking horny people? Even the losers in those commercials all of a sudden become cool and can party hardy all because of the beer. It seems to say if you wanna be with the good looking horny people buy the beer, not only beer but the right brand of beer and you will party with good looking horny people. I have not seen a beer commercial that says, go drink the beer by yourself so u can get drunk silly by yourself, puking all over the place by yourself, while passing out with giant gash over forehead cause you just hit your head on the bathroom sink, and then deal with a giant sized hangover the next day and having to deal with a beer gut the rest of your life, alcohol addiction, damage to drywall because you put a hand through it and drunk driving charges. That will not sell. Instead it pushes the idea of community, with cute folks who love you, love your jokes and gags, love your super duper silliness! People in the beer commercial business know you can manipulate the masses to buy beer if it meets a real human need. They know what people really need is not beer, but relationships, genuine community. So they sell you their idea of community, the price of admission is a six pack of beer. They know they have stumbled on something really good, i.e. celebrating with others, pure enjoyment of living it up with others. The greatest need in humanity is not beer, but living up life, celebrating life with others.
I am so glad that the Bible tells us that is what we made for, we were made for that kind of celebration of community, celebrating life, joy and peace with others. Life according to God’s original design is all about being fruitful, enjoying work, with animals by your side lion king style, with no worries for the rest of your days instead of seeing us as dinner. Life was meant to flourish, to fill the earth with God’s goodness and blessing celebrated with gusto. No wonder - Bible’s verdict on what God created was not just good but “very good.” With man and woman, created in God’s Trinitarian image, ruling the earth, not raping the earth. Super awesome!!! Read with me in Genesis 1:26