When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Acts 2:1 NKJV)
This 4th of July we are having a group of friends coming to our house to celebrate the Independence Day holiday. And this is what I know, because of who this group is: there will be an overabundance of great food; there will be much competition in the games; the kids will have a riot in the pool; and there will be nonstop laughter! Friends enjoying life and one another together has a mystical bonding that goes much deeper than just mere community, it’s the experience of communitas.
Communitas in a simplistic form of definition is: “who we are together is more important than what we are doing together.” Communitas is what allowed a tax collector and a zealot to treat each other as brothers as members of Jesus’ inner circle. It is the recognition and experiencing what our true Kingdom relationship is to be with Christ and with one another. Australian Missiologist Michael Frost in his book Exiles states, “The idea of worshipping with fellow believers and then bidding them farewell for the week in the parking lot—“See you next Sunday”—is the very antithesis of the experience of the earliest Christians.”
I recently read Acts 2:44, which states, “And all who believed were together and had all things in common.” The word “common” comes from the Greek word “koinos” which means “shared by all”. From this, we see that in the genesis of the Christian culture there was a sense of the importance of the camaraderie that was formed around the person and message of Jesus Christ, thus their commonality point! Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola state in their compelling co-authored work Jesus, A Theography: “You can’t adequately follow Jesus without being a part of a shared-life community that lives and gathers under the headship of Christ.” Communitas cuts across all sorts of cultural, ethnic and ideological boundaries and elevates the importance of our “commonality point”, who you and I are…together.
So, back to Acts 2:1 “…they were all with one accord in one place”, and this Fourth of July, we will gather together and “there will be an overabundance of great food; there will be much competition in the games; the kids will have a riot in the pool; and there will be nonstop laughter!” and we will experience Communitas!!