Deliberately sharing life together.
Eating. Living. Working together.
Sharing with one another.
Speaking truth in love.
Serving one another.
Confessing to one another.
This is how were were made to live. This is how Christ intended it. All of those things I wrote above I have seen and experienced firsthand within the past 3 weeks.
When I think about this community that I have been given I am nothing short of overwhelmed with gratitude. With joy. With pride in my God.
A couple of weeks ago, when I went to Portland for the Expeditionary Learning (EL) conference, I was able to step out of this life I had been a part of since August, and really truly come to see the beauty of it. Much to my surprise, there was not much of a "Christian community" within EL. I was blown away because every one of their design principles [self-discovery, having of wonderful ideas, responsibility for learning, empathy and caring, success and failure, collaboration and competition, diversity and inclusion, the natural world, solitude and reflection, service and compassion] are so biblically based in my mind. I came back not just ready to use these new great teaching ideas, but more importantly to be back in my community and to share what I had seen and noticed. I left the conference and wahs able to be at home in Dallas for a few days and once again blessed by community.
Since I've got back every single day I have been been 'wowed' by our God. This verse pretty much sums it up:
"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goddness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. One you had no identity as a people; now you are God's people. Once you received no mercy; now you have recieved God's mercy." 1 Peter 2: 9-10
"We are a community.
We are not ourselves by ourselves.
We are born into communities,
we live in communities,
we die in communities.
Human beings are not solitary,
-Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson