When the Christian community lights its candles and puts off the aroma of Christ, those that are not yet Christians see it and begin to want what they see. They see how we treat each other and those around us. They are curious when they get scent of the aroma of Christ, and they wonder about it. How we act and react to the circumstances God places in our paths will go a long way in spreading the aroma of Christ to others.
However, being a community in action is not always fun and easy. As a matter of fact, sometimes it is down right hard. We are God's instruments in those situations to show that we can glorify God in all circumstances of life. There is power when the Christian community is in action, both in good and bad circumstances. We are called to bring light to darkness and darkness is not a pretty place.
What does that light look like? Here are some recent examples from my own life experience in Christian community:
- The small groups in our church make it a practice to provide and deliver meals for new moms from the birth of their baby until 4-6 weeks after the birth. That may sound like a big deal, but it is an act that literally changes the family's life, particularly if they are new to the group and have not experienced this type of Christian community before.
- An extended family member of a gentleman in our group really needed a new roof, and the family was unable to do it themselves. His mother had been chronically ill for years, and his father's health was poor as well. We asked for some help and had several people show up on a Saturday to remove and replace the roof.
- This same family eventually had to have their mother move in with them because their father was no longer able to care for her on his own. She was bed-ridden and unable to speak. She had had very little opportunity to attend church over the past several months. Our small group decided that maybe we should just take the church to her. On our group night, we all packed up, including our 18 kids, and went to their house. We sang songs, ate ice cream, and spent time talking with her and her family. It was such a great time, and I know she really appreciated it. Then, only about 2-3 weeks later, she went home to be with Jesus. We were all grateful that we seized the opportunity when we did!