In my book GodSpace I wrote that Jesus spent more time forming community than he did in ministry and I was reminded of that this week as we had the opportunity to enjoy many different types of community which have all made this a very busy but enjoyable week. Lent is not the only rhythm governing my life at the moment.
Last weekend those of us who live in the Mustard Seed House spent a day working in the garden. Even Gabriel (age 2 months) was out enjoying the sunshine.
On Monday night we all attended a conversation with Rudy Carrasco which gave opportunity to enjoy another form of community as we grappled with issues of multiculturalism.
Later that night Tom dashed out to the airport to pick up Shane Claiborne who spent a couple of days with us. Tuesday morning we invited some of his friends to breakfast.
Today (Saturday) I spent time with friends who were with me on board the Mercy Ship Anastasis. Though we had not seen each other for many years the deep bonds formed through the close community we shared on the ship meant that we came together as though we had never been apart.
I must confess that at times I felt a little resentful at how much time some of these community activities took as it meant work seemed to suffer and of course we all know that work is really the most important thing in life… at least that’s what I used to think.
Over the last few years, I have realized that placing priority on getting the job done rather than on forming community is a very middle-class Western value that has little to do with God’s kingdom values. God seems to be more concerned about relationships and community than about tasks. Maybe one of the spiritual disciplines I need to learn during Lent this year is the importance of spending time with people forming community. Seems simple but I find it very challenging