Saturday, February 19, 2011

Week 4 - Beyond Solidarity to Community

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
John 17:21

It is not enough to live in solidarity with those who are poor and suffering the world. It is not enough to validate them, to see their plight and to feel badly. It is not enough to mail them a check. These are all points of beginning, but they are not the destination described in Jesus’ prayer for oneness.

In the Way of Jesus, solidarity and community are two vastly different things.

Solidarity says, “You can exist in my world;” community says, “You can live with me, under my roof.”

Solidarity says, “I’m sorry you’re sick;” Community says, “Have my medicine; I am well only if you are.”

Solidarity says, “It is horrible that your children are starving;” Community says, “Your children are my children, too.”

Solidarity says, “I wish things were fair for you;” Community says, “I choose to take your suffering as my own; we will work for justice together.”

Solidarity can abide with a distance and detachment that love cannot, and love is the new law of community in the kingdom of Jesus.

In his book, Community and Growth, Jean Vanier says this:
“Belonging should always be for becoming…Community is not for producing things outside of itself; it is not a gathering of people struggling to win a cause. It is a place of communion where people care for others, and are cared for by others; a place where they become vulnerable to one another.”

Vulnerability or openness – of heart, of mind, of faith, of resources – is required for the oneness of Jesus to occur. Without it, there is no real community for any of us.

The Real Question: Where is God inviting me to move beyond the safety zone of solidarity and into His community of oneness and love?

Family Talk: What would it look like for our family to do a better job of loving one another?

ONE in Prayer: God, forgive me for the times that I have settled for a comfortable solidarity when you have been calling me into community with others. I offer my heart, my mind, my faith and my resources to the vulnerability of your transforming love. Father, make us one. Amen.

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