Monday, April 06, 2009

community's place in Jesus

I am enjoying and being edified in reading Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith, written by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg who both live in our area (I will review it later). I was hit yesterday by a number of things, but especially by the Jewish insistence, carried on in Jesus' day and continued to this day, that the best study of Scripture is done in group, communal settings. And how, while solitude does have its place, and an important one, community should be the normal rule of life.

Like the authors point out, it's in community that we learn to love and get the rough edges knocked off.

I'm finding this book to be quite an insightful read, and I look forward to reviewing it later. Ann and Lois do a first rate job of helping us back to Jesus' time with a view of how to better read Scripture, and better understand God's call to our lives in Jesus. Written quite clearly, and no fluff.

But back to community. I have studied in seminary, and like to read at least some scholarly (and at times, difficult) books, along with books written for the entire church. But I've noticed time and again how God has spoken to me and to us in a group setting through the words of just any of God's people over a Bible passage, or with regard to God's working in our lives. Sometimes I share, and I think I'm sharing too much. But there have been times when I was mute, or largely so, and have been blessed in so being.

I too have been a part of an individualistic culture, and there's nothing I like more in an evening than being with my wife in the living room while we both read books with some classical music playing softly in the background. This thought was a good, even if a bit jolting reminder to me that I need to be open to what God wants to say and do as I rub shoulders with others in community. We need to think of ourselves as those in community in Jesus, not as individuals in Jesus who happen to engage in community activities here and there.

What would you like to add to this?

4 comments:

Lanny said...

Good thoughts pon community. community is most certainly an undeniable part of being in Christ.

nAncY said...

i think of myself being in community continually. and continually only because i am in Christ, so in turn i am in community at all times no matter where i go and must always be aware that God can speak to me at anytime and through anyone or any thing.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny,
Yes. And in our culture and society, it's too easily missed.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Interesting. I think of that in terms of being in Christ's Body. Though I know God can speak through anyone or anything if God so chooses.

But I like your thought of thinking of yourself as being in community continually because you/we are in Christ.