Posted by: brittany marie | March 9, 2008

i’ll take a glass of orange juice

Yesterday, or wow, actually two days ago, on Friday, which was actually Saturday because this technically happened at two in the morning, but it was still Friday to myself as I hadn’t slept yet…anyhow, I went with two amazing girls to IHOP off Atlantic, right after the exit for the Arlington Expressway. It was about two as I already mentioned and we had this crazy urge for breakfast food and spontaneous outings.

IHOP was pretty packed the whole time we were there. A decent variety of people came through, and considering that this is Jacksonville, we were really impressed. A lot of clubbers came out as well, but it was fun, the different people there…each with a posse or community. And I realized how communal people really are.

I mean, of course I know this. People were not made to live alone. We can be introverted of course or even become hermits, but we will never have been truly alone. Even before the hermitage, there would have been people and those people would have left their mark on you, negative or positive…be it your parents, guardians, friends, enemies…there is no way to escape it.

But now I wonder…

Community has been the hot topic in my sphere of existence for the past few weeks. Before, it was some other spiritual topic which I don’t remember now…oh, it was probably that 2007 entry about confession which was spurred by the idea of forgiveness and on and on…but lately it’s been community.

As I watched people in IHOP and now as I recall my interactions with my peers and people in general, I’m confused. Are community and clique synonymous in my life and my actions? I have a group of friends at the moment that I love and cherish, whether they’re in Jax or not…I love them. Their words can send me soaring or be a great splash of cold reality against my face. But is that okay?

Can I draw the line there and check it off my Christian definition? Community…taken care of. Finished. Is that when it becomes a clique?

I think I’ve been learning some crazy things this semester…about forgiveness, about grace and peace, about joy, about love. About myself. But now God is showing me that my community shouldn’t be tied to some building (i.e. a church) or some group of people. Of course there should be some sort of core which for me would be IVCF, but there shouldn’t be boundaries. Rather, I should be in community where ever I’m found, be it Spanish class, at Publix with the cashier, or in the Chik-fil-A ladies’ room. (Long story.)

Jeremiah 18 was the chapter of choice at the leadership meeting this past Friday. What struck me most was that Jeremiah was inspired by God to go to a mundane place: the residence of a potter. He was led to watch a rather mundane event: the making of a pot. But through that his eyes and ears were opened a word concerning the relationship between the Lord and nations and Israel was revealed.

Yes, Jeremiah was obedient. But there is a second character to consider and that is the potter. Maybe he loved God, maybe he didn’t. But he was there and provided the vehicle through which a ton of people would be blessed by being what he was called to be: a potter. He was doing what he was supposed to do and God used it.

Could that be an aspect of community, of the interaction of people? If each person did as they were called, would the word of God be more common?

And even in Genesis where man is called the image-bearer…if we were in community as we were called we would be confronting millions of image-bearers. They would work as puzzle-pieces and our experiences and interactions with them would develop a greater picture of the living God. If the account in Genesis bears truth then that idea seems plausible…that each human being reflects some aspect of God.

Maybe there needs to be more connections…more literal, face-to-face connections. Our world has been compartmentalized enough through secularization and the separation of religion from daily life to a Sunday a week event. We have work, weekends, friends, family, party nights, school…life breaks down into these easy to swallow bits when it’s not meant to be like that.

Maybe the spiritual and the physical need to crash together. Maybe the distance we create between people, the distinctions we make of friend or classmate, cashier or brother, aren’t right. I think we’re called as image-bearers to break down those barriers. Change how reality works. The spiritual intersecting the physical should be big…look at Jesus.

Point made.



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