The Key is the Response to Community, part 2

(Please read part 1 first)
So, what light can this shine on our lives? Many things bind us together, some are voluntary, some are not. In the case of religion (or faith if the word “religion” bothers you), we do things together to (re)affirm our community. Circumcision was the earliest (and physically experienced) Jewish rite that affirmed community. However, things that seem similar to a certain rite (female circumcision, in this case) can actually have detrimental effects upon the community.
As Christians, we affirm our community through common worship, communion, and baptism. Baptism and communion are the primary “physical” modes to experience our communion with each other, but worship is a vital component as well. By experiencing the same things together, we forge a common identity, a voluntary community. Just as they could not be neglected in Old Testament times (for by doing so, one’s place within the community was threatened), they should not be neglected today.
This is not an old style versus contemporary versus whatever worship war that we’re talking about, but a communal and meaningful call to understand why we are together. However, the signs of communal worship (as defined by Jesus and the Apostles) are communion (with or without a common meal), baptism, and God’s Word (not, by the way, necessarily in that order).
We cannot be the church without understanding why we are the church, and what acts define the church.