La Comunidad

Here is the English version of a presentation Timothy prepared for class this week.

My son’s question
Yesterday, as I was preparing to leave for church services my son, Ezequiel, asked, “why do we go to church?” I answered him theologically.  “We are the church, the living expression of Christ’s body, we don’t actually go to church because we are the church!” He did not understand my answer. So, I gave him another answer, “we love God and we love other Christians so, we want to spend time with other Christians so we can worship God together.” Community is important.

Communion
As we worshiped together this Sunday we celebrated communion. I thought of the community aspect of taking the Lord’s Supper. Together we praise God in a tactil way for what He has done. Together we taste the same bread, in unison we partake of the same drink. In the present we we celebrate the past actions of God through Jesus Christ and the future hope that action represents for us, the corporate Body of Christ! Again, community is important.

Prayer
I am excited to learn about prayer in class this week. To prepare my heart I read the Lord’s Prayer. I was impressed by the first words of the prayer, “our Father.” Again the importance of community filled my thoughts. From the beginning we are instructed to approach God corporately or at least with the community of Christ in mind. The community of believers is the context of prayer as we ask for His kingdom to come and His Will be done we do so by first acknowledging Him and His community. When we ask for His blessing we do so in the context of community, “give us this day our daily bread.” Even as we ask for forgiveness it is a community activity, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others.” Community is important.

Culture and the Gospel
Most of us grew up in a culture that taught us the value of the individual. From our cultural perspective the individual is often more important than the group. We have individual rights not group rights, we value individual thought not groupthink. As the poet says “I walk a lonely road its the only one that I have ever known I don’t know where it goes but it’s home to me and I walk alone.”
The culture of Christ teaches us a different ethic. We walk together, we bear with one another, we worship, sing, and live in the context of belonging to Christ’s body. (Romans 12:3-5; 1Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 1:18; 24)

Questions
Do you feel you walk a lonely road or do you feel the community of the body of Christ?
Can you give an example when you experienced the community of Christ in a significant way?
What other cultural themes have we considered normal but are not necessarily the way of Christ?

We love learning Spanish!  And we are very greatful to be connect with you!

With love,

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The Downings

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