I spent some time surfing the internet tonight, thinking it would let my mind simmer after a long day of catching up on things. I found myself browsing several other blogs similar to this one, and instead of letting my mind just kick back and relax, I’m actually thinking more. The funny thing is that the blogs I’m reading are written by people i know, except they were written two or three years ago. I mean, i know who they are now…really didnt know who they were back then….yet their 3 year-old thoughts are fascinating to me, encouraging to me, and challenging me to dig deeper in my pursuit for God.
It makes me really think about all of this talk thats going on about getting back to the authenticity of our faith. The encouragement to use ancient liturgies and to pray the prayers that were first spoken centuries ago. While I agree that we must keep moving forward, and there’s a part of our faith that is completely between me and God, and there is a definite need for community that walks with us through this life here and now, I’m beginning to think that community is far greater than just the people who are with us right now. I’m beginning to think that we can’t just rely on the newest ways to do things, whether thats bringing technology into the church or re-writing scripture in words that are more understandable to the common man.
If I really am growing and being challenged by the words my friends wrote years ago, and if these words seem as though they came out of my own mouth…..then maybe community spans time. Perhaps? If thats true, it means im in community with Paul…I’m in community with doubting Thomas…with men and women who saw the miracles of Christ….with monks who lived their monastic life centuries ago….with the founding fathers of our denominations….so on, and so forth. And if this is true, this means I can also learn from my community. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Romans 7:15) Amen, Paul. I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief. (Mark 9:14) Amen to that. MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. Amen, Thomas Merton. (see full prayer here)
So maybe reading blogs IS a form of community. Maybe praying the prayers of people who lived hundreds of years ago IS a form of community. Maybe uttering the helpless words of struggle, in the same way men of the Bible did…maybe that IS a form of community. Something that helps spur us on. Something that challenges us. Something that causes us to grow. And it is our community here and now where we find the accountability to keep living out our faith in our every day life.