On Sunday, January 27, New Community of Faith will celebrate our annual meeting. I use the word celebrate because we do have much to be grateful for. We are welcoming new members. Our native, drought-resistant landscaping project is off to a modest, but sound start. We have hosted wonderful guest speakers, and plans are being made for a larger event in the spring. These are terrific achievements for a small community.
Of course, church meetings are always fraught with peril. Sometimes it is very difficult to listen to one another, to accept new ideas, and to risk changing our own highly valued opinions. Therefore, when I came across this passage in Richard Rohr’s very good book, Breathing Underwater, I felt the need to share its warning about complacency and fear.
Christians are usually sincere and well-intentioned people until you get to any real issues of ego, control, power, money, pleasure and security. Then they tend to be pretty much like everybody else. We often gave them a bogus version of the Gospel, some fast-food religion, without any deep transformation of the self; and the result has been the spiritual disaster of “Christian” countries that tend to be as consumer-oriented, proud, warlike, racist, class conscious, and addictive as everybody else – and often more so, I am afraid (xxi).
We must not fear the struggle to create community. Jesus called very ordinary people to follow him and they struggled to understand what that meant. That call is being given to us today. We, too, are very ordinary, and we, too struggle to understand. We will be given what we need, but we must use that inheritance to forge this community that people dared to name, “New Community of Faith.” Let’s dare to live the Gospel call to love and transformation. Even in ,and perhaps because of our profound ordinariness, we can live into our name.
Lunch will be served!