One of the difficulties with living is when our ideals come crashing against the rock of reality. That is, I have a dream gets hosed down by the injustices of mediocrity and status quo.

I have been walking through the Core Values of our church plant, Christ the Redeemer, and we just got done walking through our first (and most vital) core value of Community. My wife was speaking with someone following our conversation on the topic of what Acts 2 models for the church by way of biblical community. We see people selling their possessions and giving to those who had a need. We see people welcoming others into the mess of their homes and being vulnerable with one another as they were learning together what it meant to follow Christ’s road to Calvary.

The response of the other mother my wife was speaking with was, “That seems awfully idealistic.” The truth is, it is idealistic. It is the goal for which we aim. Most communities of faith are content with merely showing up. But as Bruno Mars encouraged, we need to show up and show out. That is, the community of faith is not merely a body of people that gather, but they gather with a purpose. It is like halftime where they assess the team and seek to address weaknesses in their offense or defense and shoulder the load together. To accomplish an impossible goal. What is that goal other than displaying the beauty and majesty and wonder of the gracious God who loves the unloveable?

On full display in word and in deed, we see that the Christian community reflects how God enters into our messes and embraces us–in the midst of the stink. This idealism can only be reached by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit…in the very crucifixion of the flesh that seeks self-preservation. The life of faith is a flesh and bone reality that has scars and bruises…and fresh wounds to be bound up. Uncomfortable? Yes. Life giving? Yes.