Community Part 5
Okay, about community... I really liked what our friend John Luoma wrote about community. All of it. Toward the end of his email, John quotes Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community." The quote captures an important theme: Community is not self-serving.
The apostle John records the Jesus' prayer, in those anguished hours before his arrest. I think he prays for transformational community. "...that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us,..." John 17:21
Like I said, the subject of community mostly eludes me. Being a bit "out to sea" on it, I find it helpful to look for some markers by which I might gain my bearings. I believe marriage is one such marker. The above verse about a community growing into oneness, I think, is intended to invoke the connection to a man and a woman becoming one in the bond of marriage, the mystery which points to God and his people (Ephesians 5 and also expressed in the above verse). Deeper still is the root of all this, the paradox of a singular triune God (Again, expressed above).
Now, watch this: "The person who loves their dream of marriage will destroy marriage, but the person who loves his/her wife/husband will create marriage." Works, right?
I, as I imagine so many others have and continue to do, married Tara with a love for my dream of marriage, which is another way of saying with a love for myself. I wanted this relationship to serve me, work for me, fulfill me. Once in, I learned that it doesn't work like that. (I see all you married people nodding) Two become one through sacrificial love, mutual submission. You die, and then you live. Kinda like what Jesus did right after he prayed that prayer.
We live in a world that sells the dream of marriage. Similarly, the Christian world has been selling the dream of community... I don't know, since at least 1995. Time to wake up.