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Posts Tagged ‘community’

Aside from celebrating the Feast of All Saints, today at St. Paul’s we welcomed Simone, Adalee, and Caedmon into the Body of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism. I love baptisms in the Episcopal church. Not only is this an occasion to welcome new individuals into the Body of Christ, we have a chance to renew our vows of Christianity and I am always reminded of the magnificence of this covenant I have entered into.

The Gospel reading for the day was from Luke 6:20-31.

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.

As we contemplated the beatitudes today we were reminded that being a part of the Body of Christ is buying into a paradigm that is contrary to popular belief. Being a Christian means loving things that are true, fully beautiful, and good.

Upon winning the Nobel Prize for literature Pablo Neruda was asked a question: “Which is the most beautiful word?” I think this is a fitting question for a poet.

I’m going to reply in a fairly vulgar way, like in a radio song, wiht a word which is extremely hackneyed: the word love. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. And there’s no harm abusing the word either.

This was Neruda’s response.

My prayer this week is that I will learn to love the right things, that I will see true beauty, and that goodness will be readily apparent to me.

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I spent that last year of my life ministering to one of the residence halls on the campus of Seattle Pacific University with 14 amazing people. I served these folks as best as I knew how and I hope I did an okay job at it. Being a part of the Student Ministry Program for two years has taught me so much but lately I have been realizing how much I have learned about community and friendship.

I woke up this morning to an email from one of my SMC’s and he summed up everything that I feel very beautifully.

I miss you guys greatly, and it makes me sad knowing that my friends go home to places nowhere near me… BUT I thank God for the time that I do get with you guys and for the long-lasting friendships that have been made between us. I really do think about it a lot, and I hope and pray someday that my kids grow up excited to visit Auntie Lauren the designer in New York, or meet up with Uncle Shane the novelist/english teacher/philosopher/protective dad, or help Auntie Kira in saving the world one Indian village at a time, or have Uncle Evan show the boys how to treat a lady right, or spend some time in Oregon with Aunt Sarah the Nurse, or have a laugh at Auntie Kitty Kat’s silly jokes, or discuss theology with Uncle Trog, Uncle Anthony, and Uncle Tim (whilst climbing a tree, perhaps?), or spend time with Aunt Nicole on the shores of the Great Lake Michigan, or go to a baseball game with Auntie Allyson, or create sweet art projects (of which I would be incapable of putting together) with Auntie Hannah, or shopping with Aunt DoYeon (in Korea, maybe?), or maybe learning about gender equality from Aunt AIDs the world-renowned sociologist.
Which ever state (or country) each of us end up in, I know one thing for sure; you guys are some of my closest and most dear friends and I want to be able to share in life with you for years to come.

I never knew that I could love people so much until I came to SPU and I must say that there is something immensely beautiful about intentional community. The apostle Paul paints another beutiful picture of this type of community in the Acts of the Apostles.

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord;s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity–all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

So often I feel like I am beating a dead horse (which I wouldn’t do because I am a pacifist) when I talk about how much these 14 people mean to me but I will say it again… You mean the world to me ATKHDNSLKETSJA. Literally, the world.

Also, I am reminded that there is power in community, especially the kind that lives together for a common purpose. So, LSKPLS, I am ridiculously excited to live with you this next year. That is all…

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