Men & women desperately desire community.
This was evident yesterday at a funeral I preached at. The lady who passed away worked for a tavern in the cities - many of the attendees were customers or employees of that tavern - frankly, she was deeply loved by them.
They showed this love practically through financial (and other) gifts while she struggled with cancer - through participating in a home makeover that "blessed her socks off" - by donating the food for the funeral dinner - by grieving together with the family.
Sort of sounds like church, doesn't it - particularly when the church is loving each other and the community as it (we) should.
On one hand, I often see members and attendees of our church doing the exact same thing for others - and my heart sings when this happens. On other occasions, people live out on the fringes of the church, don't feel as connected, and sometimes aren't ministered to in their needs.
This is one of the reasons we are emphasizing small groups this fall. We need community. We need the friendship/fellowship, the accountability, the mutual prayer, the sharing of the word, sharing of like & dislike interests - the connecting.
Let me encourage each of you to sign up for a small group this fall, to "test drive" community.
Have a great weekend.