The very essence of God’s creation of humanity is our need for connection with not only our Creator but the expression of God through all creation – both natural and human. In Genesis 1 God’s first recorded words to the humans was for them to connect with each other (including through sex) and to grow the connections to a larger community of humans…”Be fruitful and multiply.”
Community, generous love, commitment, sacrifice, vulnerability, forgiveness, humility, service and the protection and nurture of life are all central to Jesus patterned biblical spirituality. However, many have seen different patterns than those of Jesus in their experience of community said to being performed in Jesus’ name.
How might we address the injuries and scars felt from being judged, minimized, accepted only as we conformed to others’ expectations, and not feeling “seen” for who we truly are and how we express the imago Dei (the image of God)?
So in reimaging community,
- how can authentically working through the pain, disappointment, even betrayal, we have experienced be furthered by reimagining what community could look like in the first century of the third millennium?
- can we salvage or re-purpose any pieces of community as we have known it for this new path?
- what does a passion for inclusion and a compassionate understanding of people and life allow us to consider in developing new expressions of community beyond simply perpetuating those of a previous time?