Monday, April 16, 2012

Real Community and Raspberry Bars


It is 9 pm right now and I should be gearing up for a bowl of cereal. Or something. I ran into Aldi this afternoon for an emergency bag of tortilla chips that sit unopened. I should have known better, because this was book club night.

Sometimes we call it Book Club. Sometimes we call it Bible Study. Silas calls it Bible Studding. Whatev. All I know is, I always leave there full.

For one thing, the girls are all phenomenal cooks. I'm talking homemade cheesy potatoes with ham, spinach salad with bacon and hard-cooked eggs, fresh fruit. I'm talking two helpings of each.

My contribution was dessert. I made these. Next time I'll divide the crumble more prudently amongst the bottom and the top, but otherwise? Yum. If I do say so.

Not only is my stomach full on Monday nights, but my heart and my soul and my head are, too. What started as a random, impromptu gathering of new friends has grown into a real community.

So yes, it's ironic that we are currently wrestling through  Barefoot Church, by Brandon Hatmaker. In engaging, Biblical text, a beautiful image of true community and pure mission emerges. Barefoot Church takes me to a child-like place of belief in the Church, where everything is possible and day-dreaming takes on a brand new meaning.

We sit in a circle and read and talk and read and talk and sometimes, we just sit. Sometimes, we're too full for words. Sometimes, we're mind-readers.

Sometimes we tear up a little and very often, we cackle like hens. Yes, even the men. Especially the men. Hens.

Last week I was stuck on this:

We may say we're a church on mission, yet we have so many on-campus programs that our people never have time to live on mission in their neighborhoods. We may say we're more than just a Sunday service, but 90 percent of our resources and efforts are either committed to the Sunday morning experience or events designed to draw people to our buildings. We may think we serve, but if we took an honest look, we'd find only a small percentage of our people actually serving outside the church. - Brandon Hatmaker, The Barefoot Church (p 24)

 Here are tonight's highlights:

As believers, we have got to find a way to see poverty and injustice in the world as wrong and forth fighting against. We need our neglect to be exposed. We need to see the indictment of Scripture. And we need to no longer stand for it. - Brandon Hatmaker, The Barefoot Church (p 32)

We often confuse the heart of compassion that requires and response with the feeling of sympathy that remains idle. - Brandon Hatmaker, The Barefoot Church (p 34)

For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes.I was sick, and you pointed out behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved. - Matthew 25:44-46 paraphrased by Richard E. Stearns

What do you think about all of this? What does community mean to you? What do you see and what do you day-dream? Help me process.