24 May 2012

Second Understanding

2. We know too, that our community must be for “sinners” and not “saints.” We are ordinary people struggling with the realities of day to day life in an imperfect world. We are aware, therefore, that our way of living will always be incomplete. When people join the Lindisfarne Community, as any other intentional community, natural illusions and idealism about community will quickly be shattered. However, disillusionment leads towards reality. Discovering Christ among us is the beginning of true community.
The thing that stands out here is "our community must be for 'sinners' and not 'saints'." So many times, people seem to think that if you are a follower of Jesus, you shouldn't make mistakes. But then, when we do make mistakes, people are quick to point out that we're hypocrites. But in the LC, we start out saying that we're sinners. We make mistakes. We fail, stumble, fall.

However, there's another point here. We're an "intentional community." This, to me, means that while we may make mistakes, while we are sometimes "false" towards ourselves and others, our intentions are just the opposite.
We strive to be our true selves. We strive to discover Christ among us. And I think that the reason we discover Christ is because Christ is found among the fallen. We are trying to live for Christ, to be Christ to those we meet. That is our intention. Personally, I see that the vocation of a follower of Christ is to implement God's Realm here "on earth as it is in heaven." I see that we should be looking for ways of doing that - whether that's feeding the poor, or taking care of our elders, or helping at shelters for people who are abused, or whatever. Each and every day we should be about making this world a better place and we do that by taking care of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. And this is not limited to our families, communities, states, or country. We have to have eyes also looking at the entire world. We need to see the pain and suffering wherever it resides and look for ways of non-violently eliminating it.

But, because we are "sinners" and not "saints," we will fail sometimes. We will fall sometimes. And sometimes, we won't be the best we can be. But we're trying. That's our (my) intention.


This trying and falling reminds me of a quote I recently saw from Theodore Roosevelt:


It is not the critic who counts; not the [person] who points out how the strong [person] stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the [one] who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who stoves valiantly who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends [oneself] in a worthy cause; who at the bet knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if [she] fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that [her] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

~~~
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br Jack+, LC

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