Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 13, 2013
Happy New Year! May 2013 be filled with every good
thing for you all!
Have you gotten your new MCC Liturgical Calendar
for Year C, November 2012 through November
2013? It is available on the Chi Rho Press Web
Please order your copies now.
Please feel free to forward this to your pastors,
other clergy, music directors, worship teams, and
anyone else you think would benefit from it.
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 hundred
~ Russian Proverb (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
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" (ibid., Davis,
God, please bring me into beloved community. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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