For those who aren’t “in the know,” Greg and I host a small group (onecommunity — OC for short) meeting through our church on Wednesday nights. We basically discuss stuff, open up to each other, and share ideas. The intent is to challenge people and foster an environment where people can bring whatever their life is, whatever their ideas are, and be raw and real about them in a safe environment.
Tonight I got a glimpse of OC ideals in action. We discussed a lot of stuff all stemming from the foundation of Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well. We talked about what it means to love people wholly and look past their outward appearances (the Samaritan woman was a complete outcast…it was a huge social “risk” for Jesus to talk to her). We talked about how that relates to our interactions with people today, how we need to meet people where they are, not condemn anyone, and seek to connect with them and share the hope, beauty, and joy of a life led following Christ. We talked about how this challenges us to love everyone; via this we discussed modern day outcasts such as homosexuals, debated the death penalty, etc.
We talked about how dangerous it is to let social constructs and cultural biases influence our reading the bible (i.e. how christians can be wrapped up in politics, capitalism, societal issues such as class, etc) People shared out of their lives, some stuff that might have been uncomfortable, but the environment fostered by our group made it possible. It’s hard to sum up all the things that went on, but hopefully what I’ve said enough to get the idea across.
I’m so excited about the future of these OCs…I can definitely see their potential and what I sampled tonight is very encouraging. Hope everyone else’s OCs went as well as ours.
Oh yeah…Chris and Cindy…thanks for the cookies. They rock. And Jim, I still owe you for the ice. I must now depart, for the Red Vines are calling my name. It’s wrong to eat them outside of the OC, but I must. So good… Hide them, Greg, for the good of us all.