Created for Community
Genesis 2:18 is a jarring verse. Up until Genesis 2:18, God’s judgment was that His creation was “good…good…good.” But then, suddenly, “the LORD God said, ‘It is not good…’” What did God see? What was “not good” in His creation? The text continues, “It is not good that man should be alone…” So the LORD God made a helper suitable for the man. He made the first human-human community: a marriage. Then His creation was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). And so, early on, the Scriptures stress an important aspect of our being, namely that we are created for companionship.
Consider this—before Woman was fashioned, Adam had a direct relationship with God Himself! And yet, being what we are by God’s own design, we can only flourish in human-human community. The goodness of human community finds its immediate expression in the family—husband, wife, and children. And, of course, the goodness of human community finds it ultimate expression in Jesus Christ and His Bride, the church (Eph. 5:31–32). But the point is clear—we are created for community.
Right now, however, we are suffering a significant lack of human-human community. As Christians, especially, we are suffering the absence of community in the life of the local church. Sure, we gathered for a drive-in service this past Sunday. And many of us are meeting together using technology for prayer and Bible study. I’m grateful for the letters, email, and text messages that are being passed back and forth among our members. This is all good and very helpful. But in the final analysis, these other means cannot satisfy and sustain our souls. We long to meet again.
Recently I was on a Skype call with my pastor-friend in Romania. As we were talking, his young son came into the room and joined our conversation. He saw me on the screen and heard my voice. I was "present," and yet he asked me, “When are you coming to Romania?” Even a young child knows the difference between a video call and a personal visit! We all know and long to be with each other again. All believers—whether introverts or extroverts, newborn or mature—all believers have a distinctly Spirit-born desire to meet with fellow Christians face-to-face.
This longing of ours to meet face-to-face is biblical and good. It is true that God can use social isolation to grow us in our faith and to spread the gospel (for example, Rev. 1:9–11). I do pray and believe that He is doing that in our lives right now. And as with all circumstances, our current ones are revealing our hearts: what we believe, what we treasure, our ongoing struggles with sin and unbelief, and our dependence upon God’s grace. May God use these unique times to grow us in our faith, and to add more to our numbers, even as we long to meet again.
We are created in Christ to flourish in fellowship. Consider the apostle Paul’s perspective—that even writing the book of Romans left something to be desired—that his heart's desire was to meet face-to-face (Rom. 1:11–12)! I pray that one outcome of our current situation is that all of us would value meeting together more than we did before. I pray that we would see the goodness of God’s design more clearly. That we would pursue times of fellowship together with renewed focus, and with a zeal that makes all earthly pursuits pale by comparison. When we meet together again, may we do so with sanctified intent to “extol [the LORD] in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly…” (Ps. 107:32), “to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24–25), and to “be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Rom. 1:12).
Being in Christ yet isolated from the fellowship of believers means that your soul is hungry. I hope this brief meditation helps you understand this reality, so that you can desire what is good. In the meantime, continue to remain rooted in the Scriptures, focused on Christ, and connected with one another through the means you have. Soon, we will meet again!