- The Vine and Branches Christian Community, Lexington, Kentucky
- The hOME Community, Oxford, UK
- Saint Patrick’s Anglican Church, Lexington, KY
- The Priory of St Columba, Saint Patrick’s Church
- My own household
Learning to Pray. We came together to pray to the Lord for ourselves, one another, and the world he’s teaching us to love. We prayed our hopes. We prayed our doubts. We prayed our joys, our pains, our fear, and our despair. We learned to do this by praying the Psalms, and reading the Scripture together.
We learned to do this by sitting down together, and not running away. We didn’t learn to do this from the latest awesome book on the religion bestseller list. We learned to say to God, “I’m sorry.” “Thank you.” “Yes.”
Learning to Love. We ate meals together. We learned to fight, and not run away. We learned to say to one another, “Thank you.” “I’m sorry.” “I forgive you.” “Let’s do this together.” In learning to say these things, I became the kind of person who can say these things, and mean it.
Living in this way didn’t necessarily make the Christian life easier – in fact, it showed me quite a bit about how difficult it is. What this way of life did was show me what it looked like to really love God, and to know what it is to be loved by God. It broadened my imagination to see and know and feel what it’s like to be a forgiving person. This life teaches me that I can suffer with and for people around me without running away. Belonging with a people like this, and living life in this way has taught me that people really can become like Jesus, and that it’s possible to live our lives without trying to protect ourselves from the people we’d like to love us.
By all means, embrace “community.” But I’m always going to ask you these questions:
- Do you eat?
- Do you pray?
- Do you hold your own feet to the ground?