“Some people claim that the pace and distractions of modern life have eroded our sense of community. But perhaps it is the other way around. We are distracted and overextended because we have forgotten how to live in communion with God and others. Lacking spiritual community, our lives become uncentered and filled with distractions.”
That’s from the beginning of chapter 2 of Thomas Hawkins’ little jewel of a book, Cultivating Christian Community. I’m just past the halfway point in it. I would call it a book that is dense. It isn’t “dense” in the sense of difficult to understand, but it’s “dense” in that it is concise. It’s packed with plenty of good stuff! Reflecting on it gave me the idea for a sermon series—actually, some things I’ve tried to underline in the past—but with a fresh take. I’m speaking about listening, dialoguing, and (tentatively right now) being hospitable.
Here’s a “tasty tidbit” from chapter 1: “The reason for Jesus’ crucifixion may not lie in what Jesus preached and taught…What ultimately led to his death were his table manners. Jesus invited the wrong people to the intimacy of table fellowship.”
Hospitality is something that weaves itself into all of life, and it is essential to Christian community.