Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Identity, Community, and Freedom

Praying at Redeemer
We are loved unconditionally by God. This means there is no "If...  then" in God's love. God cannot not-love. God never thinks "If John performs well, then I will love him," or "If John fails, then I will withhold my love from him." I am "beloved" by God.

True Christian community is rooted in belovedness. In true community belovedness has become embodied. Belovedness is a triple helix wrapping people in a garment of love. This is so crucial, so central, that without this there will be chaos and conflict and competition and control. Without love, the community will be nothing.

1. Know that you are one of God's beloved sons or daughters.

2. Cultivate community on this truth.

Henri Nouwen writes:

"When we are aware that we are the beloved, and when we have friends around us with whom we live in community, we can do anything. We’re not afraid anymore. We’re not afraid to knock on the door while somebody is dying. We’re not afraid to open a discussion with a person who underneath all the glitter is much in need of ministry. We’re free." (Nouwen,  A Spirituality of Living, pp. 38-39)