Living out the Gospel in community can bring us overwhelming joy. When we reflect on the forgiveness of our sins through Christ and the eternal hope we have because of His resurrection, the very rhythm of our life becomes an opportunity to respond with gladness and generosity. This is exactly what we see in the early church as recorded in Acts 2:42-47 NIV:
“42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
The joy of the early church was found in the everyday response to the Gospel. They were a witness to those around them and the Holy Spirit used their testimony to draw others to faith.
The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life. It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart. – John Calvin
When we acknowledge the community around us by bringing intentionality into things we’re already doing, it allows us to see the Gospel played out through the very rhythms of our life. We start sharing meals with our co-workers. We start inviting neighbors over for game nights. We start serving those around us instead of binge-watching the latest show. We start Gospel conversations during play dates. We start enjoying community because it has an intentional, deep purpose to it that foundationally is a response to the Gospel in our own lives.
None of this happens all at once and it will look differently from person to person because our lives are all unique. However, as we begin we quickly see a new sense of joy from being in community, living out the Gospel, and joining God in the redeeming mission of His people.