The sound of loud applause and joyful cheering floated out the door and onto the porch of the local Community Center. Inside, the stage was filled with young girls, dressed in brilliant costumes and taking their final bow. A year of hard work had just concluded with their annual dance recital. The girls were all smiles as they poured off the stage. Hundreds of cameras began snapping pictures and bouquets of flowers were being presented by proud parents. One of the happiest places you can be is at the Community Center.
On another day, one room is filled with seniors chatting and laughing as they play cards together. Later that day the gymnasium is filled with thundering noise as young children learn the skills of a rough and tumble basketball game. They may be only eight years old, but for the enthusiastic parents, you would think it was the NBA. Drop in on another day and the activity is Karate, or the annual Valentines Day dance. The list of activities is long and it seems there is something for everybody, no matter your age. The Community Center is a wonderful place to gather together with others that have your same interests and the best part of all; new friends are made that often become life-long friends.
What is it that draws us together? Be it common causes like working on the neighborhood’s landscaping committee or meeting weekly for the bowling league, it is no fun doing it alone. There is tremendous satisfaction in accomplishing something alongside others. The familiar saying, “two heads are better than one,” is always true when trying to come up with solutions to something; and working together always promises a few laughs along the way.
Are you perhaps looking for something more? Maybe you haven’t found just what you are looking for yet. Some times you feel like you have filled your life with a lot of activities but you are still searching for the perfect one. They may be enjoyable, but for some reason you don’t feel truly satisfied. Do you sometimes feel like something is still missing? Perhaps you are feeding your mind in your monthly book club or keeping physically fit in your mountain bike group. So what might it be that you are looking for?
Have you ever considered your spiritual side? Many times we neglect to realize that not only are we made with physical desires, but our inner person needs fulfilling too. We also need a community for that. One day the art class we are taking will end and the students will go on their separate ways. Every one of us desires something that will last, no matter what is happening in our personal lives. We need and desire the kind of community that genuinely cares for us as individuals, a place where we can develop and grow, but at the same time help others to do the same.
You may already have considered this and you may already have a full and rich spiritual life. However, for those of you that may want to explore this further, we will share some very important information.
Everyone knows there are churches in all communities. Perhaps you have never been interested or felt a need to visit one. Maybe as a child you went to Sunday School, but left that behind years ago. It is important that you think about finding a church. You will find a group of people that will welcome you in and sincerely care about you and your needs. There will be events to attend and good works to be involved in. You will find a Community Center where love abounds for one another. However, it is much more than even that. It goes deeper and lasts longer than anything we can find at a Garden Club or Lions Club. It is a life of abundance that goes on even after our death; it is eternal life.
Have you ever thought about living forever in a place of unspeakable beauty? We cannot even imagine what it will be like. Scripture puts it this way in I Corinthians 2:9, “However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” There is the key, the key to complete fulfillment and joy – love for God. And there, together with everyone that also loves God, we will find a community like none other!
Webster’s Dictionary defines community with these words: “A sharing in common.” You may be wondering what, exactly, those that love God do have in common. It is relatively simple, here is a basic list:
- You believe the Bible is the written word of God.
- You believe Jesus is the Son of God and you follow his teachings.
- You then receive the gift of life, eternity with him and all his followers.
- You worship and fellowship together with the community of believers.
You may wonder where you go to begin this journey and which is the right church. There is no end to the books you can read telling you what you need to know and if you read five, chances are you might find five different opinions. The truth is, God is not the author of confusion. We humans are the ones that interject the confusion into the picture. You can learn all you need to know by reading just one book, the Bible. Pray for understanding and God will lead you where you need to go. Begin in the New Testament and read all about Jesus and his life. That would be Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. After Jesus died and was resurrected, you will find the beginning of the church, his church, in the book of Acts. Follow what the scripture tells you to do and continue to pray for guidance. You will find the right community of believers to stand by you and help you. The rest is settled; you will have a forever home… in Heaven. Now who wouldn’t want a Community Center like that?