Psalm 133 opens with the exclamation, “How good it is when brothers dwell together in unity!” What comes to your mind when you consider relational wholeness and unity? Imagine a scene that most captures this desire for you. Who is there? What are you thinking, feeling, doing? Why is the scene so compelling? Are you giving and receiving? What is it that allows everyone to be unified?
A number of moments from my life come to mind. Sharing the birth of my daughters with our family. Co-laboring with friends in Atlanta to see a new church be born. Eating outstanding food and laughing with friends at an annual party last weekend. Cheering alongside neighbors for our swim team to beat the Barracudas. In a moment of vulnerability, sharing my struggle with a trusted friend and having them say, “me too.”
While diverse, these scenes share something in common. In all of them, the primary focus is on something beautiful outside of us. Erica’s braised pork shoulder. Tiny baby fingers and toes. Athletic children who can swim butterfly. The wonder of being both a dignified and broken human being. The beauty of God is in these moments, and as we are caught up in Him instead of in ourselves, unity and wholeness become possible.
City Church Communities aim to be communities of unity as we gaze together at our beautiful Lord. This will be accomplished as we gather together for worship, prayer, Bible study, care for one another and service to the city. As we “dwell together in unity,” City Church communities can reflect the relational wholeness that Christ won for us in his life, death and resurrection.
On Saturday, I had the privilege of listening to psychologist Dan Allender teach on the “design of desire.” He explained that we often kill hope and desire because they create an ache inside of us as we struggle to make sense of life. We begin to settle for naming our brokenness and ignoring our beauty.
As City Church communities grow closer to God corporately, we anticipate exciting things happening for each person on the individual level. We pray that the unity and wholeness of the community will create a context for individuals to discover, name and embrace their own beauty to the glory of God!