"Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner. Sometimes I feel like my only friend is the city I live in, the city of angels, Lonely as I am, together we cry..." These are the opening lines of a 1990s rock song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.How could a man who lives in a city with a metro population of over 17 million people feel like his only friend is the city itself?
The singer goes on to say,"It's hard to believe that there's nobody out there. It's hard to believe that I'm all alone. At least I have her love, the city, she loves me, Lonely as I am, together we cry."
It is lonely out there, Mr. Kiedis.
I pass thousands of people every day and without being purposeful, one could virtually disappear. It is very easy to be all alone in a city of 17 million. I know of one homeless man in Hollywood that believed that he was invisible because he was never spoken at nor looked at! That's lonely! But the fact is, that it is easy to be all alone anywhere and everywhere. Community takes effort, it does not happen without being purposeful.
When Jesus died for sinners like you and me, he did not merely die for a collection of individuals. He died for a church, for His Bride. Jesus died to save sinners and then bring them into a community of His glory. He died to make a communion of the saints.
Many churches confess from week to week, "And I believe in the communion of the saints." Why do they confess that? Well, simply because we need to hear it. We believe it and we need to hear it... but do we practice it?
Community is something that we must strive for if we are a part of the body of Christ. We must strive for it because we know that one day that city whose builder and maker is God will be our eternal habitation- and there will not be room for loneliness. If we are residents of that city- we are known, and known by the King of Glory.
As I reflect on the cities that I love- one being the City of Angeles- I can only cry out for her inhabitants to look to another- the one whose builder and maker is God... the Eternal City. Maybe under the bridge, as men and women consider the fact that they were made for community, they too would give their life away... but this time to the one who holds the key to the City of the King of Angels.
How are you purposefully building community? How are you reaching out to those who are lonely, and yet confess the communion of the saints? It's lonely out there people- why do it alone?