Christian community is the place where we keep the flame of hope alive among us and take it seriously so that it can grow and become stronger in us. In this way we can live with courage, trusting that there is a spiritual power in us when we are together that allows us to live in this world without surrendering to the powerful forces constantly seducing us toward despair. That is how we dare to say that God is a God of love even when we see hatred all around us. That is why we can claim that God is a God of life even when we see death and destruction and agony all around us. We say it together. We affirm it in each other. Waiting together, nurturing what has already begun, expecting its fulfillment—that is the meaning of marriage, friendship, community, and the Christian life.
I gave this charge to the people of Faith Community Church on my last day as pastor. I thought I would share it with you as well.
Live – and live well.
Love – and love well.
Laugh – even if it isn’t funny.
Cry when friends leave.
Cherish ordinary moments – for life is a collection of ordinary moments – and in them we find God.
Care for one another – it’s how people will know you follow Jesus.
Never be afraid to get out of the boat.
Be silent – every day. Silence and stillness are the most radical actions we can take in the world.
Be whole – whatever it takes. Settle for nothing less.
Watch for God’s Kingdom – it’s breaking into our world all over the place.
When you find a piece of God’s Kingdom – point it out to someone else.
Eat together – every chance you get. Everything you need to know about God’s Kingdom can be discovered by sharing life around the table.
Do the little things – Little things done consistently, over time, will change the world.
You are changing the world.