There are times when we may have to stand alone as we find over and over in scripture, but by and large community is to be the rule and norm among God’s people in Jesus. Humans were made for community, and when we feel isolated and lonely, we rarely do well. Of course there is that need for ongoing solitude, which is another subject. But never is one intended to live apart from communion with God and with others in Jesus.
Rugged American individualism which has roots in Aristotle’s promotion of the highest ideal reached in the hero achieving great fetes and greatness on his own, along with liberal modernism’s exaltation of individual rights makes us prone to forget the importance of community, or to downgrade it. But humans are created to the end of reflecting the Unity of God by their relationships. “In Christ” humans are indeed taken into a reality in which they are not only united to Jesus by faith, but to others in Jesus.
In the Christmas story, Mary and Joseph, along with Elizabeth and Zechariah have a community of sorts, helpful especially for Mary and Joseph during a most difficult, trying time. God confirms his working through others, as well as his faithfulness to his promises. God works in that way; he brings others alongside of us, or brings us alongside others. And we find Christian community, Jesus being the center. From that we find our place in God’s mission in Jesus for the world.
This video “inspired” this post, which I trust reflects the story found in scripture.