Monday, January 21, 2008

Quote on Community

I found this quote on Claremont's Process & Faith Lectionary web site while I was researching for yesterday's sermon. The entire article is worth reading, but here is a little teaser. The second paragraph I cut and pasted seems to really relate to livingstones as we begin to invest ourselves in this experiment:

The dialogue between Jesus and John’s followers further reflects the dynamic interplay of call and response in discerning our spiritual gifts and personal adventures. “What are you looking for?” Jesus asks. This question is at the heart of spiritual formation, “What do [you] want? What is your goal in life?” The disciples’ response, “Where are you staying?” describes the quest to discern one’s vocation. “Where can we find what we are truly looking for? Among the many paths of life, which one will truly fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts and allow us to live out our evolving vocation?” “Come and see,” Jesus responds, as if to say, “If you follow this pathway with me, and are open to God’s vision for your life, you will see what you truly need in order to experience wholeness, vitality, and purpose.”

“They remained with him.” Spiritual growth requires time and practice. For persons today, these future followers of Jesus are reminders that we need to “practice discipleship” through a commitment to the disciplines of community and spiritual formation. Our congregations are called to be laboratories of spiritual and relational transformation, deepened by prayer, contemplation, healing arts, and service to the local as well as global community. Only a commitment to “remain” in community can nurture the spiritual maturity that we seek.


Here's to remaining together!

Blessings,
Mark

2 comments:

racotton said...

Wow! Great excerpt. Very meaningful and relevant to our experiments in community. I'm grateful for your sharing and for your being a part of us!
--Rickey

Sarah said...

I love this perspective on the passage in John. I was open to go a little deeper with it since I had already read that Gospel reading a couple of times in the past week, and it just struck me how deep a part of Jesus' spirituality community was. The rabbi/disciple model, as drawn from Judaism, displays the strong belief that spiritual growth takes place in community. It's sad how far so many churches have gotten from this, with so many people floundering through church individually with their individual burdens on their individual backs--afraid to share because they know nothing of community.

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