Emerge and Restore

Exploring faith, God, and church in the 21st century...

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Location: Kansas, United States

Monday, July 11, 2005

Community Quotes

I wanted to blog tonight, but I find my brain too fried. So here's 3 interesting things I read in my quest for community recently:

On Enemies: "At the heart of Jesus' message is: 'Love your enemies. Do good to those who criticize you, who hate you. Pray for those who persecute you and push you down.' Our enemy is not someone far off in a distant land. Our enemy is somebody close by who threatens us, who blocks us. Our enemy is inside, not outside, our community."

On Forgiveness: Reconciliation is at the heart of community. To grow in love means that we become men and women of forgiveness...When I say forgiveness is at the heart of community , I do not mean we have to learn to say simply, 'You're a nuisance, but I forgive you.' It means discovering that I, too, am in part the cause of your being a nuisance, because I have dominated you, hurt you, brought fear up in you or because I haven't listened to you, or was not open to you. Forgiveness is not just saying, 'I forgive you because you slammed the door.' It's also: 'I'm working on changing myself, because I have hurt you.'"

On difficulty: "Community is a place of pain, the death of the ego. In community we are sacrificing independence and the pseudo-security of being closed-off. We can only live this pain if we are certain that for us being in community is our response to a call from God. If we do not have this certitude of faith then we won't be able to stay in community...When somebody says to me, 'I find it very painful to live in this community, but I'm here because God has called me here', then I know that person has made a passage from dream to reality. They have found their place. We will only stay in community if we have gone through the passage from choosing community to knowing that we have been chosen for community. It is for us the place of purification, and of support, given to us by Jesus, that will lead us to a deeper love and liberation, a place where cleansed of our egocentric attitudes we will be able to give new life to others.'"

- "From Brokenness to Community" by Jean Vanier
founder of L'Arche communities for the mentally disabled (www.larcheusa.org)


Blogger CL said...

Good stuff, brother-right to the heart. I am going to check out that book, thanks also for the reference to it..

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On enemies: Perhaps our enemy is even closer than in our community. Perhaps the problem is that the enemy lives within us. It lives within the part of us that feeds on envy, resentment and bigotry. It lives inside the part of us that feeds on arrogance and self-righteousness. Truly, this is the enemy that threatens us and blocks us from being community.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

On difficulty: It is so refreshing to hear someone say how important it is that we be where God wants us as opposed to where we “feel comfortable”.

4:26 PM  

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