The Commune Life

Jesus calls us to the table to share a meal with him, to be strengthened and prepared to build community in this place where we find ourselves.  We are to come with an attitude of abundance.  The radical individualism so many treasure, actually springs from an attitude of scarcity – that there won’t be enough for me if I don’t look out for myself, my class, people like me.  But in community, we can live in abundance, knowing there is always enough, because we are here for one another.  When we covenant to live by core values of mutuality and sharing, the commune is by definition non-exclusive.  That is why it becomes so difficult to reconcile exclusionary Christian views which declare some people cannot access the realm of God, the security and nurture of God’s love, the radical in-clusion of the communal life of Jesus and the early church.  That inclusive community had ordinary, messed-up, aggravating people, people who lived the Law and people who broke the Law, betrayers, deniers, and petty thieves.  There weren’t rules that said some are “good enough” and others are not.

In our Jesus commune it becomes difficult if not impossible to demonize those who are different.  If we acknowledge mutuality, interdependence, then even if we differ in opinion or approach, we are undergirded by caring, even love.  God asks us to work for the day when the brutal divisions and mistrust we have created can be dissolved in the name of greater good; when coming together at the table might mean something more than just a dressed-up, symbolic state dinner; when we might learn to speak one another’s languages.  We have centuries of acculturation to assumptions and mistrust of others to overcome. Building community, creating commune if you will, requires a spiritual “starting over;” coming to a place where we identify our shared humanity and shared needs in preference to naming only what divides us.  It is an attitude of abundance rather than scarcity; that we have more going for us than against us.

Peace and grace,
Pastor Carol

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