Many of us what to be part of something. We want brotherhood. We want people to go to battle with us and for us. We want a place where we belong that our very presence brings joy to others and others to us. This type of place we often call “community.”
However, although we want community, we often perpetuate exclusionary practices that are detrimental to community. We kill, lie, gossip, steal, and cheat, and so our communities don’t become brotherhoods but brothels.
In order to have healthy community we must be committed to each other and to the structures of the community. We have trouble committing to each other because people are annoying. But we also have trouble committing to the structures of the community. We don’t want to be held to certain rules, but we can’t have community unless there are guidelines. Unless we have rules against stealing, we can’t have community. Unless we have rules against killing, we can’t have community.
Christian community is commitment to each other (“being of the same mind” as Paul says) and to the structures of the community (“those who love me obey my commandments” as Jesus says). We shouldn’t run away when people become difficult. We shouldn’t run away when the structures become too binding.
Jesus loves us so much that he commits himself to us (each other) but also is committed in obedience to the Father even to death (structures). We also must do likewise. And when we do so, we will have community.