Finding Community

I went to my church’s Bible study last night, and we’re going through A Fragile Stone: Peter: Jesus’ Friend With Michael Card.  We talked about the issue of moving, since Peter left behind his fishing occupation to follow Jesus.  One of the questions in the book was: “What move from a home or a community has been the most traumatic or difficult in your life?”

Often, I think about the places where I did not fit in, and I become discouraged.  What I thought about last night, however, was how I’m usually reluctant to move to someplace new because I’ve found my niche in a given community.  To my surprise, as I look back, I can see that such has been the case in every place where I have lived.  I was slightly bummed out about moving from Greencastle, Indiana to Boston because I liked my church in Greencastle, a campus Christian group that had awesome praise and worship, and the nice people I knew.  I was then bummed out about moving from Boston to New York City because I liked my church in Boston.  I was especially bummed out about moving from New York City to Cincinnati because I was spiritually fed by Tim Keller’s sermons at Redeemer in New york, and I also enjoyed the New York Metro Adventist Forum.  In Cincinnati, it took me a while to find a community, but I eventually did, and so I was fearful that I wouldn’t find a community in upstate New York, where I was moving (though, of course, I’d have my Mom, my Mom’s husband, and the kitty-cats—-and, as one lady in the group who has also moved a lot said, being around family can make things easier).  But I’ve found a good church here.  But there will come a point when I’ll have to move from here.  Will I find a community in the next place where I am?

I guess that I should trust that God will take care of me wherever I might be.  I’m often hesitant to say this, for what about the people in the world who are lonely and lack community?  Does God love them less?  That shows that I need to be sensitive to the needs of others.  But it amazes me that, even though I often complain about not fitting in, I’ve usually found some community wherever I am.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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4 Responses to Finding Community

  1. Jed says:

    God loves everyone equally, and those who feel alone and separated are the ones who God is convicting for him and they are not responding to his calling.


  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Thanks for commenting, Jed. What exactly do you mean by that?


  3. Jed says:

    our need for community is in part fueled by our need for God…you will find that if you have God and you are right with him you feel his presence, and consequently feel less alone. It is similar to the fact that people who cannot live in silence, have something they don’t want to hear!


  4. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Okay, thanks for clarifying.


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