The Search for Community (Chris Francis)
Since the beginning of True Life, we’ve talked about being an authentic and honest community. Below is an excerpt from a book I’m reading – “A Loving Life” by Paul Miller – about the search for community.
The biggest problem people have in searching for the perfect community is just that. You don’t find community; you create it through love. Look how this transforms the way you enter a room of strangers. Our instinctive thought is, ‘Who do I know? Who am I comfortable with?’ There’s nothing wrong with those questions, but the Jesus questions that create communities are, ‘Who can I love? Who is left out?’ …..But if we pursue hesed love, then, wherever we go, we create community. Here are two different formulas for community formation:
Search for community where I am loved = become dissappointed with community
Show hesed (selfless, faithful) love = create community
The first formula leaves us critical and ultimately solitary. The second one enlarges our life, filling it with surprise……
We’ve unwittingly made the quest for community central. The quest for intimacy can be just a veiled request for feeling good. Intimacy and community come from love, not the other way around……John describes this pattern in Jesus’ death: “He would die for the nation….to gather into one the children of God” (John 11:51-52). A dying love creates the possibility of oneness.