My husband suffered valiantly through five seasons of Gilmore Girls with me. And then we stopped watching after that fifth season when things got weird with Rory and Lorelai, but we'll save my minor soapbox rant on that for another post. Right now, I want to talk about how much I want to live in Stars Hollow.
Stars Hollow, Connecticut is basically Mayberry in technicolor but with more caffeine. I love that everybody in town runs into each other at their impossibly tiny grocery store and that they all order coffee and pancakes at Luke's diner and that every last person in SH shows up for random town meetings about random town issues. Obviously, I'm aware that the town in Gilmore Girls was just a set. On some Hollywood lot. Possibly with plastic trees and turf for grass. It also turns out that the actresses who played Rory and Lorelai actually hated coffee in real life. I was strangely disappointed to find that bit of trivia out. Basically, everything about Stars Hollow was a figment of someone's creative imagination.
But, I love it anyway.
So, why am I talking about Stars Hollow like a semi-obsessed fan who might be willing to drive to L.A. for the chance to walk down SH's Main Street and pretend like I belong there for a half a second? I think the Stars Hollows and the Mayberrys, and whatever other fictional depiction of community we find ourselves drawn to, uncover and even point us to our very real desire for gospel community. I've been told that "every true story borrow it's power from the gospel." Maybe it's possible that, despite their obvious flaws, the images of community we see in our favorite television shows reflect something true about what real, gospel community should look like.
The desire stirred up by those depictions of scripted community is an honest response to what we were designed for. We were made to be in a circle of friends. We want shared experiences. Despite our insecurities and our fears and our issues, we don't want to do life by ourselves. Sometimes we think we do, but if you dig down deep enough, you know that your heart wants community. It's built in. We're hard-wired for it. Life is basically a group activity, a team effort, a village situation.
Don't let yourself believe the lie that you are just fine on your own. Don't give into the temptation to keep others' at arms' length. You and I were not made to be lone rangers. We just weren't. (If you need to be convinced, rent Castaway this weekend).
Pursue community. Make it important enough in your life that you fight for it. The Enemy will put lies about you and others on repeat in your head, but God's desire for you to be placed in a fellowship is bigger than those.
I read once that "every redemptive relationship will be opposed." (maybe John Eldredge?) That means building real, intentional, heart-deep community will most likely be hard. It will require something of you. Most importantly, it will require you. But the effort is worth it. Redemptive community helps us work out the gospel in our lives. It'll kick us in the pants when we need a wake-up call. It will love us back into fellowship when we've wandered off at times. God will use that kind of community to help bring about His redemption in our hearts. I promise. I've seen it happen up close and personal.
My friend Sarah shared a few verses at small group last night that speak to why community is necessary:
24 And let us consider how we may spur each other on toward love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Invite people in. Be faithful to meet with them. Be honest with each other and pursue God's truth together. Encourage each other to live the gospel out for real. You and I will see redemption in our lives and in the lives of those around us when we live in that kind of radical community.
And all the Stars Hollows will pale in comparison.
|Photo of Stars Hollow courtesy seeing-stars.com|