Friday, July 18, 2008

Community

Henri J. M. Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup? (Notre Dame, Ind.: Ave Maria, 1996), 57.

"Nothing is sweet or easy about community. Community is a fellowship of people who do not hide their joys and sorrows but make them visible to each other in a gesture of hope. In community we say: “Life is full of gains and losses, joys and sorrows, ups and downs – but we do not have to live it alone. We want to drink our cup together and thus celebrate the truth that the wounds of our individual lives, which seem intolerable when lived alone, become sources of healing when we live them as part of a fellowship of mutual care.”

Paul writes: And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it.
Philemon 1:6 The Message

We are called into community through Christ. He asks us to reach beyond our boundaries of our commonality and touch others in His name. While our differences sometimes distinguish us from one another, we are one in Him. Oswald Chambers writes about becoming broken bread and poured out wine. Only through Grace can acts of goodness become broken bread and poured out wine. Circumstance does not create community, rather it reveals its strength, its motivations, its endurance, its depth, its hope. Christ calls believers into community ~ and our response reveals our true faith. I wonder, do people recognize Christ in my acts of goodness? ~dho