Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Some further thoughts on community, maybe not the most coherent but some words I have found interesting:
When it comes to exclusivity I love what Dallas Willard has to say “To understand Jesus’ teachings, we must realize that deep in our orientations of our spirit we cannot have one posture towards God and a different one towards other people. We are a whole being, and our true character pervades everything we do. We cannot, for example, love God and hate human beings”
Thinking about that Dorothy Day comments “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least”
Once again I do see the importance of peer communities but if it allows us to exclude the people we love the least, then it’s wrong.
Willard also states “God’s aim in human history is the creation of an inclusive community of loving persons, with Himself included as its primary sustainer and most glorious inhabitant”
Inclusive community has to be the way forward.
Also found a great quote with regards to true community being a hard place to hide “Community is the place where our limitations, our fears and our egotism our revealed to us…… while we are alone, we could believe we loved everyone. Now that we are with others living with them all the time, we realise how incapable we are of loving, how much we deny to others, how closed in on ourselves we are” Jean Vanier
Over the years we have seen many attempts at creating community; from the early house churches in the 60’s to the 90’s cell group mathematical model. (I was in a cell group when I was in Chelmsford prison, there were only two of us and we were never going to multiply!) the reason these things keep popping up is that we all have a desire to experience genuine community and to a measure I feel the two I have mentioned have been very helpful.
But like so many, I do sometimes end up thinking “there has to be more”
Maybe Gilbert Bilezikian is right when he says “Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda, the church that has been reformed always needs to be reformed. Authentic revival is always a revival of community life”
Maybe that is what has been happening, for the last 50 years God has been whispering about the revival of community and we have been trying hard to make it happen, it’s always been on his agenda and will be forever and I kind of feel that he is happy we are all giving it a go.
I got most of this from a great little book by John Ortberg called “Everybody’s normal until you get to know them”
In the words of Miriam Woo “to embrace authentic community is to embrace the triune heartbeat of our creator and truly experience the oneness of God”
at 12:37 AM