sacred space between my ears

Bloged in apprenticeship, church, community, culture by rod Tuesday June 8, 2004

A couple weeks ago, Greg posted a blog on “sacred space” and linked to TallSkinny with likeminded thoughts. I commented to Greg that I was working on a blog along those lines - and I have been – I just haven’t been able to bring it to fruition. So this post will make no observations perhaps, but ask more questions. The topic is fresh again, and I need to visit it from my own aging questions and observations. So bear with me as this won’t be organized or intentional. It’s just me tossing out some thoughts and admissions. Eventually, I think I’ll hit on topic, but I’ve got to start here.
Several months ago, I responded to another blog that was questioning the waning of commitment to a specific congregation. Those old thoughts have come back as I’ve thought all this through, because when I listen to the conversation, I’m struck that our perception of waning commitment, seems to stem from our changing paradigm of what constitutes church and community and expressed Christian spirituality.
Personally, I struggle with understanding the simultaneity of an intimate relationship existing in community. I live in a world where I belong to two gargantuan Christian organizations who are continually striving for a sense of community among the whole. Sometimes I feel a tug-of-war between allegiances to either organization while I strive for community with both. Even within both, there is tug-of-war between overlapping involvement in different specific ministries. Certainly the growth I achieve in one context affects me, and those around me, in the other, and I, therefore, am a tiny link in a community connection between the two. I feel that there should be many tiny links between these two, but somehow we tend to compartmentalize. There are areas of my life that I wish I could compartmentalize, but this is not one of them. Here, I am a Christian among Christians and there I am a Christian among Christians. I think I am the same guy in both places. I am not a Baptist in one and non-denominational in the other. I am a Jesus follower among Jesus followers in both contexts.
All that being said, I really don’t feel a strong sense of community with the whole, in either of these large contexts. I do feel community with small groups of friends in both. It bothers me that it could be scary that I can be a link to a small community of believers that draws from both contexts.
This brings me to Greg’s post. I have certainly felt a part of Church in the context he describes. No doubt we had church the night we basked in the openness of our borders in Charlotte. I’d even stretch to say we prayed – hard – in the context of the whole conversation, each one seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit through prayer and the counsel of others seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is church and this receives my loyalty. I want to bring this as an expression of corporate prayer to both my large contexts.
This must be fueled by individual sacred space as well. My fuel comes from personal time seeking, asking and listening. Each of these endeavors is done in many ways. Scriptures, prayer, scriptures, prayer. I listen a lot on my bike. Vast and intimate. Ironic that I sense strongest community with you other introverts with whom I feel that community is learned by intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
Ok, now I am rambling beyond your ability to think. I do want this to be a conversation, so I’d better shut up.

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