Community and Context

Our brains cannot feel pain. They cannot, in fact, feel anything. It is pure objectivity for ourselves.

Though we can feel our body, it is usually in the context of pain only; when some invasion into the system occurs we can feel it. However, a large degree of that same objectivity expands to encompass our bodies. Sometimes, that objectivity can even include our mirror reflections.

However, show us a picture of any particular body part or a video of us moving and we experience extreme disassociation. We have all had the experience of hearing our own recorded voice and not recognizing it.

Sitting here typing, my tapping fingers are a part of me, but I do not experience them in the way I would experience another’s tapping my arm.

This experience causes us to not know ourselves. We all ask “who am I” and “why am I here”. These are questions that result from our inability to experience ourselves.

In searching for God, in searching for relationships, in joining gangs and cults, we are searching to answers these questions. We were created to not experience ourselves, which means we seek to gain context.

The thing about context is that it is about location AND meaning. Whenever we find false identity, we find it in these two things.

Our purpose and our place (in both space AND time) satisfy this.

With community, especially CHRISTIAN community, we gain context by the person sitting across from us. That person is not only an immediate answer to location and purpose (they are looking at us and our service to them gives us great purpose). They represent God in the Body, eternally confirming location and purpose; our divine purpose in the intended location He placed us.

We not only need the Body for ephemeral reasons. We need the community for psychological affirmation. We need the Body to affirm what we suspect God has for us. The community gives us context.

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