THEME: There is the community and there is the individual. Both must be properly served in the worship life of the People of God.
In Deuteronomy 12:8-14 is an injunction against divided communal worship. (Deut. 12:13) Instead the people were to accept the place that the LORD would choose as the location for national worship so that the spiritual integrity of the Nation might be preserved. (Deut. 12:14) At the end of the book of Judges we discover that the Israelites had already fallen (after the passing of the Joshua Generation) into the trap of divided spiritual interest in the Nation. (Deut. 12:8 w/ Judges 21:25)
There is a wandering inclination in each of us. It takes self-discipline to accept a yoke of communal interest. But if we do not accept that yoke then the world around us will disintegrate into lawlessness and the dominance of tribal conflict. In such a case our own interest will eventually be challenged and perhaps overthrown. We need the safety of the Flock of God.
Is there then no place for the individual?
Of course there is! There is a profound place for the individual! It is the individual that provides the foundation stones on which the whole nation is built. For without Each of us there is no All of us.
We all re-discover the original truth. We do not re-invent it. We learn the same lessons as our forebears, the grand lessons concerning Holiness to the LORD. We clothe it in our own times, but it is the same eternal Holiness for which we were created by GOD.
Let the truth of community take priority in your life. Let the truth of personal holiness have its strong place in your life. Let us come together and share what each of us has with all of us. And in doing so, let us grow into fruitfulness in Jesus and prosper in the world.