Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 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.
"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
~ 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
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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