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Saturday, February 16, 2008



I just finished an intensive course entitled ESSENTIAL COMMUNITY. The class was taught by three MHGS professors and they worked to create a lab-like classroom that begged the question, “what is essential to community?” The foundational quote for our time was from Tolstoy:

I knew before that God gave life to men and desires that they should live; now I understood more than that. I understood that God does not wish men to live apart, and therefore he does not reveal to them what each one needs for himself; but he wishes them to live united, and therefore reveals to each of them what is necessary for all to live together. I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love.

This section of text, along with Micah 6:8, was read three times before every class session. Each time I listened new words and ideas stuck out. Most frequently the words “each” and “other” fluttered through my thoughts.

What does it mean to be in community with each - other? We are all each. That is, we are all unique. We are all individual. We are all private. We are all each. And we are all also other. That is to say we are not someone else. We are different. We are odd. We are misunderstood. We are other.

And yet we are called to be in community with “each other”.

The course brought many questions in regards to intimacy, power, forgiveness, perception, voice, presence, and other words that may or may not mean anything to a non MH reader of this blog. All of that to say, my mind is present to the hard work that is community. Not the community that shares simple common interests, rallies around gossip, and excludes others…but the kenotic confessing community that Christ calls us to. A community of unique others living to invite others to authentic relationship.

I will post miscellaneous quotes from our course readings this week as I believe this class asks questions that we all must consider for ourselves.

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Dad/Grandpa said...

Thanks for posting this and the other quotes in February. I enjoy reading them.


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