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What Kind of Community Do We (Really) Want – Ag in the Bible

March 23, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes I wonder about the kind of community people really want. Over the weekend, things were busy doing a small part to help in a couple of community fundraisers. We talk about community often, as it’s the source of our existence.

Merriam Webster defines community this way:

: a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)

: a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Community is dependent, then, on bonding. The agriculture community is diverse, united by what we do. More locally, Walker county, Nauvoo, football fans, Auburn or Alabama fans are all communities.

So I wonder, then, why some seek to destroy communities? In cutting competition, a horse and rider separate an animal from their community. The cow, wanting back with the herd, is naturally motivated to get back to the safety of community.

Even among animals, place in the community is important. Removal from the community – banishment – can be a death sentence. As I look around the community it’s easy to see those that support community through action, and those who seek through action to destroy community. Many claim to be Christian in doing so.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

Many say they’re Christian but don’t act it, of course. Actively working against Christian businesses isn’t the actions of Christians if they’re truly encouraging each other.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

Does this warrant if someone hates himself it’s ok to cause chaos for those around us? I think not.

There are many who ask for help due to temporary true need – why not help if we can? Why not support businesses that seek to pass along good fortune? Isn’t that the criticism of corporations?

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Some time ago one of the options set up was sponsorships. Some falsely say it’s a scam while in truth it provides to those in temporary need – those needing a hand up not a hand out. We are happy to network with others seeking to do that same thing, and see them criticized, also, because the cost needs to be passed along sometimes.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:8-11

Do you have $25, $50, $100 to help someone this week? Why aren’t you doing it? Why do those who say they have what they need resent those who, for whatever reason, need help with a utility bill or groceries or other things?

And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me. Matthew 25:40

Does this put it in perspective? Would you talk badly about Jesus to others? Would you tell people he’s scamming and taking what isn’t his? Would you gossip about him to the community? If you’re doing it to other Christians or deter others from being Christians by your negativity, is that not worthy of condemnation. Many looked at the Westboro ‘cult’ of God hates… and see it for the negativity it is…but look the other way when negative talk is done about others in our own communities, making it harder to help others. Isn’t that doing badly to the least of these?

More than that – do you participate? From our advertising dollars to medical care to food we eat are you empowering good?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt seems obvious if we want a strong, productive community we foster it. Don’t glorify the lawbreakers in the news – how about spreading positive things? How about sharing the teenager who collected money for others or contributing $25-30 to the business to help run community service things? It costs to run power, water, fuel to go get things. While many don’t expect it, helping to cover those costs helps them be able to help more people – and the community benefits. Would you prefer that or the drug dealers up the street? Would you rather help others or foster the survival of the lawbreakers?

Which do you feed? Empower the good,and our communities improve for all. Isn’t that worth much?

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