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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 13, 2008

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 13, 2008 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2008
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 13, 2008


      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
      devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
      Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Beloved community

      "We declare to you what was from the beginning,
      what we have heard, what we have seen with our
      eyes, what we have looked at and touched with
      our hands, concerning the word of life."
      1 John 1:1

      A mile walked with a friend contains only a
      hundred steps.
      ~ Russian Proverb (from Davis, Kathy. "Proverbs
      from Around the World: A Mile Walked with a Friend
      Contains Only a Hundred Steps. Volume 2.")

      I have a dear friend who loves to walk and talk.
      Whenever possible, we try to either have a cup of
      coffee or walk every week. This is not easy to
      do with her schedule. She is a single mom and
      full-time graduate student with a rigorous
      commuting schedule. She is a great walker and
      a good talker too. My friend also knows how to
      listen. We can walk miles, and it feels like only
      a hundred steps.

      One afternoon she was excitedly describing classes,
      books, and new classmates. She paused a moment and
      asked if I had ever heard the expression "beloved
      community?" She had read about this idea in a
      recent homework assignment and was intrigued by
      its meaning. "Oh yes," was my instant reply,
      "the Bible has many writings on beloved community."
      My friend was amazed. Where were they?

      My favorite biblical description of beloved
      community is found in the love letter known as
      1 John. These five brief chapters help define
      beloved community and community living. I find
      most North Americans are amazed when they learn
      this radical and biblical concept of beloved
      community exists. We so often live as a nation
      that respects and elevates rugged individualism,
      but the Bible contains a collection of books on
      beloved community living. When one looks at the
      original Greek language used in John's writings,
      it is always in the plural form.

      In the USA we often think and live for "me, myself,
      and I." But we are called to live as a beloved
      community. We are called to live as "we, us, and
      you (plural form)." It is significant to realize
      that social justice involves living in community
      and not isolation.

      John writes, "That which was from the beginning,
      which we have heard, which we have seen with our
      eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have
      touched this we proclaim concerning the Word of
      life" (1 John 1:1, NIV). He speaks and writes
      from the perspective of beloved community and
      describes how to balance justice, mercy, and
      spirituality as explained in Micah 6:8.

      Without beloved community, it is hard to live.
      We need beloved community to experience the
      fullness of life. It is essential for spiritual
      empowerment, and it is good for our souls.
      Unfortunately, many people lack beloved community.
      Some people have been rejected by families of
      origin, or harassed by neighbors or even their
      governments. Perhaps religious institutions have
      treated you as the non-beloved and exiled you from
      a community.

      The Internet is often a helpful place to find Web
      sites of spiritual safety and hospitality that can
      sometimes lead to local beloved communities. Seek
      affirming community with all your heart and you
      will be deeply blessed. Remember that God loves
      you. God wants to bring you into beloved community.
      Take a chance with God and step out in faith. A
      Chinese proverb might provide helpful wisdom to
      begin a journey toward spiritual empowerment within
      a beloved community, "The journey of a thousand
      miles starts with a single step" (Davis, p. 48)

      God, please bring me into beloved community. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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