The Loss Of Community

Sunday, June 16, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All The Way My Saviour Leads Me"1 (Lyrics)

1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)

I received an e-mail recently called Church Services in the Near Future, which described a service where everything took place through iPads, tablets, smartphones, and Kindle Bibles. The sermon came by download, the offering was given by electronic funds transfer, and the announcement list included cell groups that met by Skype. Although social media increase some forms of sharing, I notice that we are increasingly absorbed in our own personal digital world, and it made me wonder if there is a net loss of community. Is it that people no longer take the time to draw near to another person in some deep sharing? Is this possible online or are we losing the togetherness of community? How then will God's love spread in future generations?

I listened to a grandmother on the telephone recently, worrying about her grandchildren. But they never wanted to stop long enough to hear anything about their grandma's childhood when she was their age. A young adult friend noted that we don't take the time for togetherness when the television is on to our favourite show. Everyone is working long hours now, so active, so involved, but there is little interest or concern for deep sharing, which takes time. Just getting to know someone and their story deeply enough in the sharing of God's love takes time.

Can we say that we are fast approaching a world that has lost any sense of community when people knew their friends' needs and acted on them? This is a scary thought but a profound one. Hope is shared. Faith is shared. Love is shared — all deepen through the sharing. Without real community, who experiences any of them in depth?

Do we need to be praying that with Jesus' Spirit within us, we will experience God's love, and know how to share it? Yes, Lord. Today, let's take the time to pray for the lonely and depressed. As we reach out to others, we will know the deep, enriching community that supports the soul and offers love for one another. This passage puts it distinctly:

Colossians 3:12–14 – Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (NIV)

Yes, we need to be constantly praying for our families, our grandchildren, and our church families, that we may all realize how dearly loved we are. Then we can practice life in the wonderful clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. This is what forms a wonderfully close community all around us, but it takes time.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we see families suffering and our church family decreasing. We are all so involved and busy. We ask that You would fill us with Your love, that we may be able to reach out to others with compassion in a fast-changing society where we no longer live in close community with each other. There are many lonely people in our district. Lord, lead us to them, that we may be able to share Your love and compassion. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Iris Ford

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Iris I love technology but I do share your concerns. Good thoughts.

    Indeed, Iris, may we rediscover the compassionate side of ourselves. Blessings.

    You “hit the nail on the head” with this one Iris.
    Thank you.

    Dear Iris: Surely the Lord will soon be back for His church soon!
    Love in the name of our Saviour!

    Hi, Iris: You hit the nail on the head again! I’ve been waiting for a writer to express these concerns about social media replacing face-to-face contact.

    Amen Iris — I too have received the email you speak of and how true it is becoming. I join you in prayer for a community that is fast losing it’s way .
    God bless.

    Iris,It’s good to hear from you and I’m grateful that you shared this message with us. May God continue to bless you and I hope you will share with us again soon.

    Dear Iris; I also saw that E-mail about Electronic Church service. It was interesting to see how far we could go with this. This seems the way of the world now, but we seemed to have lost the personal touch some times.
    Avery nice devotion.
    God Bless.

    Hi IRIS- here to tell you of my enjoyment to read your message today. Loved the music too. Know all the words from childhood days. Thank you for your homily. Must say my thoughts are along the same vein as yours. Often wonder where our world is going. It all is somewhat frightening at times. GOD IS STILL THE MASTER. Blessings to you.

    Thank you for a very true devotional. I really agree with you. From my kitchen window I see the high school children waiting for the bus. They are all plugged into music — ipods or whatever and never acknowledge anyone.
    So sad there is no conversation at all among them. I’m wondering the same as you. What is happening to the world?

    Dear Iris,
    With you, I pray for community in Jesus Christ. We have in our little village a weekly Bible Study group meeting –not many us right now, but Jesus said, “… where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20)! He has granted us more than three! We pray for others as we pray for one another.
    May God keep you writing according to His Will.

    Dear Iris:
    I always appreciate it when you write for the daily devotional.
    I found the first paragraph of today’s quite chilling, both as a church secretary, and as a (I hope) a caring and friendly person.
    I shall always value the time and companionship of the church gathering, and the coffee time after church.
    Keep on writing, you are one of my favorite authors.

    We really need to hear your message. Thanks Iris.
    Keep writing.

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