Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Compassion and Community

Henri Nouwen gives some fantastic insight about living in community in his book, Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life. Our discussion this week will be on Chapter 4: "Community: No individual Stardom".
Your comments are welcome, even invited!

"Compassion always reveals itself in community, in a new way of being together. Fellowship with Christ is fellowship with our brothers and sisters."

"Precisely because we are so inclined to think in terms of individual greatness and personal heroism, it is important for us to reflect carefully on the fact that the compassionate life is the community life. We witness to God's compassionate presence in the world by the way we live and work together. . .no individual stardom."

"People who say, 'I wonder if anyone cares what I am doing. I wonder if my superior, my friends at home, or the people who sent me ever think about me, ever pray for me, even consider me part of their lives', are in real danger. We are able to do many hard things, tolerate many conflicts, overcome many obstacles and persevere under many pressures, but when we no longer experience ourselves as part of a caring, supporting, praying community, we quickly lose faith. This is because faith in God's compassionate presence can never be separated from experiencing God's presence in the community to which we belong."


Beth said...

community is key. in everyday life. for example, i experienced a real christ like community my last year of youth group at my church back home. i felt at home every time i was with my friends at the church, even when we weren't really friends outside of youth group, when we were there we were family. this community allowed me to grow in christ because i had a body of believers that i could tell anything too. we were there for each other to wrestle through the hard questions and find out together what following christ really looked like in our community and in the community around us.

this idea even plays into cross-cultural situations like our adventure to australia. when our team becomes a community where we truly are family, that is when i believe christ will come out of us to the people we will meet. then we can start making a community with the awesome aussies that we will meet! hopefully they will see the community that i hope us as a team will build and find it contagious. (the contagious part being christ of course.)

this is my hope for our team. im excited to go on this adventure with each one of you! lets stay connected this last month before departure! i think it is vital in our mission in god's kingdom. :)
(this is where facebook, email, and cell phones come in handy!) haha. im sooo excited.


Beth said...

oh alsion.

p.s. im going to be in colorado sponsoring for a youth camp this next week. so i wont be able to keep up with the blog. pray for our safe travel and that i will not go crazy with 30 immature high schoolers!!!! haha.

talk to you soon.

Team Australia 2009 said...

Thanks for your great insight Beth.
I know you'll be perfect for the camp in Colorado-- knock those high schoolers into shape! Ha ha!