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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Community, Communication & Compassion 11-22-14

I am intrigued at how so many of the things I read this week, coming from a wide variety of sources, all seem to point to the intricate dynamics of relationship, community and getting along with one another.

Our world is fraught with discord, war, hatred and strife. How I wish as Christians that we could be models of unity, forgiveness, peace and unconditional love. May we look to Jesus as our role model and source for such profound transformation and witness.

If we are as busy as we pretend to be, then we are too busy to allow ourselves to be affected by the pain and suffering of our world. We are too busy to be addressed personally by the social, political or ecological disasters occurring in our relationships. We are too busy to listen to our own feelings or those of others. Our busyness insulates us from care and from compassion.
Sr. Janet Ruffing

My recent Westmont chapel message on compassion for our community

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
James 1:17

Waiting is essential to the spiritual life.  But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting.  It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for.  We wait during Advent for the birth of Jesus.  We wait after Easter for the coming of the Spirit, and after the ascension of Jesus we wait for his coming again in glory.  We are always waiting, but it is a waiting in the conviction that we have already seen God's footsteps.

Waiting for God is an active, alert - yes, joyful - waiting.  As we wait we remember him for whom we are waiting, and as we remember him we create a community ready to welcome him when he comes.
Henri Nouwen

It may be that when we no longer know what to do, 
we have come to our real work 
and when we no longer know which way to go, 
we have begun our real journey. 

The mind that is not baffled is not employed. 
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
Wendell Berry

Powerful blog post about racism, Ferguson and where things are... 
This Is What We Mean When We Say It’s About Race — Theology of Ferguson — ow.ly/EzIvV

I am thankful that the Free Methodist Church - USA (@fmchurchusa) is getting it right on the love and hospitality of God http://ow.ly/EFMct

Christ, who said to the disciples "Ye have not chosen me,
but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of
Christian friends "You have not chosen one another but I have
chosen you for one another." The Friendship is not a reward for
our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out.
It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties
of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a
thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them.
They are, like all beauties, derived from Him, and then, in a
good Friendship, increased by Him through the Friendship
itself, so that it is His instrument for creating as well as
for revealing. At this feast it is He who spreads the board and
it is He who has chosen the guests. It is He, we may dare hope,
who sometimes does, and always should, preside. Let us not
reckon without our Host.
    ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Four Loves

Life in community is no less than a necessity for us — ​it is an inescapable ‘must’ that determines everything we do and think. Yet it is not our good intentions or efforts that have been decisive in our choosing this way of life. Rather, we have been overwhelmed by a certainty — ​a certainty that has its origin and power in the Source of everything that exists. We acknowledge God as this Source. We must live in community because all life created by God exists in a communal order and works toward community.

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