HOORAY! my inside says… a huge shout of Alleluia echos from behind my ribcage.
Those silly gowns, a heritage with clergy beginnings but now the black robes, mortarboard and now hood just feels well.. silly. Setting aside the goofy get-up, I am overwhelmed with the goodness, the kindness of my Father.
He allowed safe passage, a close call from Chicago, for me and all of my loved ones. The passel that celebrated with me on Saturday, took off work and set aside their own weekend plans to drive over the mountains to cheer with me as I called my academic career to a close. Ok, maybe we will call it on hold… one step at a time.
Have you ever been so grateful for family’s sacrifices for you. Not the the food on table kind of sacrifice, but rather the smaller things, like a graduation, a party, a book you needed to read, helping you move. The Lord has shown me this year his goodness of community. Can we camp here on this for a moment…
Community. How do you define it? Where do we look for the definition?
You may have a cul-de-sac of friends and neighbors who you frequent for BBQs and birthday parties. You may take the subway on Tuesdays nights for dinner with your best friend. You may prefer to spend your time quiet in the solitude and frankly, being with people wears you out.
The Bible teaches us that community looks like…
1 Peter 4:9
Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
We all know that few of us can make a hostel out of our homes and rarely is their enough food to feed all those in need. Honestly, we might be in danger asking ” strangers” into our home. Heaven, what would happen if we did indeed sell all of our things and what was left “we all had in common.”
Depending on your theological stance, I believe in a omniscient Father that foresaw these days and who still asks us of the level of dedication to one another. How do you in your day to day live this out? Please share with one girl how I may have a more open home with plenty to share…
The past two and half years has been one for extremes for me and my fella, it have been one of more self-focus than I would prefer but essentially necessary. The space and time for “others” and “community” has been minimal to say the least. We have not sank roots in a church, we have had a few friendships come and go and watched many change along with us. Yesterday, walking out of the Tennessee Theater, I realized a door was closing on a former community. A few shallow ” take care of yourselves” were said and a few tight teary hugs were shared. Emotions of excitement, accomplishment and sadness of of goodbyes. My eyes tell the words of my heart through tears and it took no more than one moment outside on the cobblestone street to burst. The tide of fullness of emotion, reminded me that my Father must be a complicated God to allow so much for a single moment. Im just saying.
Swept up with my closest family and dear friend I was reminded of a second wave of community. One that I did not have to say goodbye. Laughter rang and stories shared around the table.
Anthropolgie smiles and admiration of beauty.
The Lord filled me with same tide, a tide of gratitude. The one that words won’t do the job. You see as I have bathed in poor self pity and often pathetic outcries for change the past two years. My God reminded me that HE was not CHANGING. He was NOT saying goodbye. The eternal connection that bonds family, I saw fully all lying about on my apartment floor eating VENISON at that, was confirmation that my God had not left me. He was showing me and you, that life lessons are complex and for me that community is too. Community looks different than it did in the days of Acts, than it does for you and me, for different seasons….
The variety can often be mistaken for absence and without an open eye and heart we can miss the gifts.
May we evaluate what community is and looks like for us? May we look for the complexity of His gifts. May we remind ourselves of why we are here and for what purpose is all this pomp and circumstance. May we “draw near” to love, both to Him and those who He has given us to love.