So at John Tischer’s recommendation, I have started reading Core 52 by Mark Moore. In short, Moore takes 52 core passages of scripture that every Christian should know. Each week you spend time reading, meditating, and memorizing one of those core passages and a few others linked to it topically.
This week I am on chapter 2 which focuses on Genesis 1:26 where God said, “Let Us make man in Our image.” What does it mean to be made in the image of God? Moore rightly points out that one thing it means is that we are made for community. God, according to the Bible, is Triune–one divine essence, three distinct persons. The three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit, relate to each other in a community of self-giving love. Historically, church theologians have likened this relationship to a dance as love flows from one divine person to the next and back again.
Lest we get lost in matters beyond our understanding, we return to the issue of who we are as created in the image of a Triune God. Bottom line, we are not created to be alone. We were not meant to be isolated. We need community and loving relationships. While I have believed this for awhile now, Moore’s take on this is both refreshing and challenging.
“We’ll never know our true selves in isolation. We know ourselves to the extent that we are known. All of us are the sum of our relationships. Though our characteristics are unique, our character is forged on the anvil of our community.”Mark Moore, Core 52: A Fifteen-Minute Daily Guide to Build Your Bible IQ in a Year, page 13.
As a born and bred Texan, let me just say that this rubs my ego the wrong way! What do you mean that I can’t be known in isolation? I’m my own man! I stand on my own two feet! Blah, blah, blah.
The truth is that Moore is right. We are shaped by our environment. Look at how much of who we are has been shaped by your parents. Look at how we act differently depending on which set of friends we are with.
“Why does this matter? Because we live in a world that champions individualism in achievements that seldom bring the satisfaction they promise. In terms of the church, this matters because we mistakenly try connecting with God only personally, when we were designed to experience Him in community.”Mark Moore, Core 52: A Fifteen-Minute Daily Guide to Build Your Bible IQ in a Year, page 13.
In light of all this, I want to challenge you to take a community audit. As yourself:
- Who is part of my core community?
- Who is part of my extended community?
- How are they helping or hindering me from becoming the person God has created you to be?
- How am I helping them to know, love, and follow Jesus?
- Finally, are there any changes I need to make in light of these answers?