Have you heard the expression, “A God-shaped hole”? The idea is that you cannot be a complete human being without God. If God is not in your life, you’ll have a vacuum you cannot fill.
But the God-shaped hole isn’t the only one that people have.
Genesis 2:18 hints at another:
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Gen 2:18).
When God created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden you would think he had everything he could ever need. But according to this text, God recognized there was a hole in Adam’s life that even being with the Lord in Paradise could not fill.
Frankly, I find that shocking. He had God! What more could Adam possibly need?
He needed Eve!
That is, he needed human community.
God said it was not good for Adam to be alone. Human community was an essential part of the “goodness” of God’s creation and His purpose for man.
I thought of that while recently teaching through John 17.
In His prayer to the Father, Jesus put a high value on unity among the apostles (and all believers):
“Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are” (John 17:11b).
The interesting thing to me is that Jesus said this unity in community would have an evangelistic purpose. Jesus said the world could come to faith in Him by seeing it:
“That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me…I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (John 17:21, 23).
“So that the world may believe…So that the world may know…”
All people have a deep-seated desire for community. That’s how God created us. And that’s what God redeems us to be—a Church, a Body, a community.
When unbelievers see Christians loving each other in community, it reinforces the truth of the saving message.
We tell the world that God loves them, wants to give them eternal life, and to adopt them as His children (e.g., John 1:12). And when the world sees the love we have (or ought to have) for one another—when they see the kind of unity in community they’ve always longed for in their life—that message becomes more real to them (cf. John 13:35).
But that community does not come easy or automatically. That’s why Jesus prayed for it to exist. So should we.