As senior year is wrapping up I’ve been reflecting upon the incredible transformations that God has taken me on in my short college career. There’s definitely a lot of domains in my life that have been corrected by a constantly renewing lens of the Gospel: understanding my ethnic identity, stewarding my time, recognizing my cultural conditioning, and understanding reconciliation, to name a few. And one of the Bible passages that has lifted off the pages to become living flesh for me is, “..and they had all things in common,” from Acts 2 – a study our InterVarsity small group does at the beginning of each school year.
Throughout these 4 years I was taught what community meant. It was not just a place where everyone gets along and is joyful all the time. It is a place that encourages the ugliness of each other to come out and accepts it with grace. It is a place that works through conflict for healing in relationships. It is a place of confession and encouragement. But community grows only through continuous sacrifice.
LAR has been an dorm with an incredibly diverse group of people, interested in very different things from Medieval literature to High School Musical, and swing dancing to dubstep. So serving the girls there has taught me what it really means to “have all things in common” because although we had little interests in common, we had to learn how to let Christ be our everything in common. I can’t speak for all of us but I know that for me, it has meant sacrificing that extra hour of sleep or homework time to go meet up with someone. It has meant sacrificing the comfort of my personal down time to let others come into my room and linger. It has meant sacrificing social comfort to engage in conversations that might be awkward. But most of all it has meant conviction of my own insecurities and judgements towards others and praying for the Lord’s desire for others.
If a community is built simply on common interests but not on the foundation and example of Christ – I don’t think we will experience the true capacity of the body, which mourns and rejoices together. We will not learn what it means to sympathize with the mousy character who won’t speak unless spoken to or the boisterous joker who doesn’t know when his jokes go too far. Neither will we experience transformation in our own brokenness – areas of sin, areas of judgement, areas of insecurity.