Monday Musings: Community & Seeing Christ in the ‘Other’

This week’s Monday Musing’s are going to be other’s thoughts, not my own, that I find worthy of further pondering.  The quotes are from things I am currently reading that deal with topics of reconciliation, community, truth, etc.  I hope you enjoy!

Living Into Community: Christine Pohl

  • “The character of our shared life – as congregations, communities, and families – has the power to draw people to the kingdom or to push them away.  How we live together is the most persuasive sermon we’ll ever get to preach.”
  • “While we might want community, it is often community on our terms, with easy entrances and exits, lots of choice and support, and minimal responsibilities.  Mixed together, this is not a promising recipe for strong or lasting communities.”
  • “Community life certainly has moments of incredible beauty and intense personal connection, but much of it is daily and ordinary.”

Uncommon Decency: Richard Mouw

  • “When we approach others in a civil manner, we must listen carefully to them.  Even when we strongly disagree with their basic perspectives, we must be open to the possibility that they will help us discern the truth more clearly.  Being a civil Christian means being open to God’s surprises.”
  • I must confess, I absolutely, positively adore this analogy.  Mouw captures this beautifully:
    “Developing the spiritual sensitivities necessary for civility is a lot like learning art appreciation.  And we know that in the aesthetic realm the reason why the requisite sensitivities do not come easily for most of us is due in part to the fact…that we have not studied the subject enough.  Often we don’t even know what to look for – or at – in trying to understand and appreciate a work of art.  We have to learn how to study such things.  The same kind of thing holds for civility.  If we are going to be people who approach others with empathy and teachability, we need to learn how to study other people spiritually.”
  • “When we genuinely see the ways that the divine image is desecrated in the lives of those who are oppressed by poverty, injustice, disease and violence, we are also cultivating a more general ability to discern where that image is present under less brutal conditions.”

I think that’s enough to leave you all with for this week.  Afterall, I’ve been ruminating on most of that for over three weeks now.  What do you think?  Comments, questions, reflections, reactions?

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