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What I’m Reading: “strings attached”

February 25, 2013

I am in the process of reading Ronald Rolheiser’s The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality. In a chapter on ecclesiology he quotes Alan Jones (Journey Into Christ):

In the waters of baptism we are reminded that we are not born in a vacuum, nor do we journey entirely alone (although loneliness is often part of the burden). Being reborn, being made alive, involves being born into a community. So there are strings attached to this adventure. Far from being the spiritual journey of the solitary individual in search of God, it drags a people, a church, a nation, the human race, along with it. (p.111)

There is much said about the shortcomings and faults of church communities (and a lot of it legit). But let’s look at this from the other side. How have you benefited from journeying with a church or community of faith?

  1. Robert Martin permalink
    February 25, 2013 4:48 pm

    First point is selfish… that as we are journeying through the struggles and trials of the frail human existance, we have a community who carries us, both physically and spiritually in our journey.

    Second point is a bit more communal… that we can share and encourage and feed each other spiritually in our work for the Kingdom, that as we “go out” we know that there are people that rejoice with the victories and that we can rejoice with their victories.

    And the third point is much more outward… that we are sent by the community into our world, that as we go out in our own ways that it is not as a mission of our own, but as a broader mission, as an arm or leg of the body that we call “home”.

  2. Joanna permalink
    February 25, 2013 7:37 pm

    The way of Jesus is so very different from the way of the world. I need my church to help me navigate the Way; I need them to keep me honest, to keep me off of the short cuts, to provide resting places, and to provide the occasional kick in the butt.

  3. February 25, 2013 8:07 pm

    Good points, Rob. And I know both of our families have benefited from your first point-having a community who carries us in difficult times. It can be hard to describe how amazing that is.

  4. February 25, 2013 8:11 pm

    Well said, Joanna. This kind of community is a major commitment, but so worth it. We need one another.

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