Tuesday, March 11, 2014
To me, community is continually coming to the fore as the one thing that excites, enthuses, motivates, inspires, but also tires, frustrates, and challenges me the most. This increasing attention and awareness to others in community, whether it be micro (the Wesley Foundation), mezzo (the University) or macro (the Nation), is key to our existence, human experience, and ultimately the meaning we find in life. It is no surprise that in the ancient Israelite religion that preceded Judaism, God was known as אֱלֹהִ֔ים or transliterated into english, Elohim, which has the plural noun form but is used with singular verbs. In this way, God is viewed as a community that is completely one and unified and is ‘all in all’. Therefore, as image bearers of God, instead of us being separate people in a landscape of individuality and independence in which we simply ‘are’, we realize through the illusion the we are a global community, humanity, totally interdependent, in which we truly ‘is’, just as Elohim (‘God’, or ‘the gods’) simply is, as one entity.
Through this lens, we recognize our interconnectedness and need for the other.
We recognize that others are far closer to us than they once seemed. Then, like Paul says, we are one Body, the body of Christ, and when one part struggles or succeeds, all do together. That, when another has a burden, we carry it also, not out of obligation or begrudging obedience, but because the burden belongs to us as well. That, when we encounter another, we see ourselves in them, and we realize we are of the same breath, the same blood, the same Source: we are One. There is therefore no ‘me‘ and ‘you’, or ‘mine‘ and ‘yours’, but I AM, true Being.
Consequently, we are driven to join in the sacred Dance, the sacred heavenly feast, the divine wedding banquet that is already happening all around us; to see the burning bush right in front of our feet, the Kingdom of God which is ‘at hand’, at our fingertips. There are many ‘churches’ on many street corners, and many denominations in different areas, but there is one Church. God, allow us to be the Church we dream of, not casually and comfortably critiquing a church or the Church from an armchair, but sweating with our hands dirty, loving God and one another with our whole selves, and engaging not our own individual egos but the global Consciousness, which simply says ‘I AM’. Let us learn how to just Be, and Love, in whatever vocation, interest, major, hobby, or friends we have. Let us care for each other well and ‘do life’ together well, as One, as the Body of Christ touches the wounds of Christ in the brokenness and poverty in each other and in the world, so that Christ would truly be in all, and that ‘in Him all things [would] hold together… [and] reconcile to Himself all things’ (Colossians 1).