Community, continued

I had some more thoughts on community last night but it was getting kind of long, so I saved them for today! (In other news, for those of you less interested in my ramblings -- I got some of my shots today and now my arm is irritatingly sore from, hmmm, I think it's the Typhoid.)

There's lots of talk these days about the importance of family. Conservative Christians in particular get really caught up in family -- family values, family friendly, family time -- are buzzwords you hear bandied about. Yes, family is important, and God does delight in family, but not for family's sake, but as a model of community.

Unconditional love and acceptance. Time. Support, both emotional and material. Accountability. These are qualities we associate with "good" families. They are the qualities which make good community.

I believe this is what God calls us to be; this is why He put us in families, and why we are taught to place value on families -- because they are a metaphor for who God is. God Himself is three in one, a being whose very existence is about serving, loving, and enjoying others.

Family, community, is not all happiness and light. There are struggles, there is pain and brokenness caused by a variety of factors, some the consequences of our actions, other simply because there is sin in the world. True community/family does not deny these things, striving to keep a veneer of tranquility and perfection. It brings tools like accountability, encouragement, exhortation, confrontation, and most of all, love. It's willing to get messy and to acknowledge pain, sometimes even to cause some pain, for the sake of greater wholeness at the end.

Just some thoughts. By the way, I ought to credit Steve Bell for starting me on the God = community train of thought.


Rebs said…
weren't we bashing steve bell last night?

or was that someone else - y'know, cheesy backup vocals guy...
Rebs said…
oh! it was Michael W. Smith, wasn't it?
kar0ling said…
AH! I wouldn't bash Steve Bell!

Actually, I'm not a huge fan of his voice but I have great appreciation his music and his lyrics. Having met him, I can also say he is a nice person full of enthusiasm and "fire for the Lord" if I may be excused for using such an awful cliche. David Suzuki, on the other hand.... but we won't get into that.

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