1 Corinthians 1:8-9, "He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful."
2 Corinthians 13:14, "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
Philippians 2:1-2, "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose."
Philippians 3:10-11, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
1 John 1:3, 6-7, "We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ."
"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."
I have been trying to meditate on these texts since a negative church experience on Sunday left me reeling and in doubt that "community" will ever happen. Particularly the ones from 1 John 1. I felt the Lord calling me first to Himself, before I give myself to others (always the healthy way to do it). My hope is kindled again. If I can remember that community and fellowship don't depend on how I'm perceived, how well I'm loving others or being loved, but on God's promises in Jesus, my new identity as His beloved, then I can stay hopeful despite messy community experiences.