My wife and I have been praying about possibly buying a condo. We’re on a somewhat limited income, but with interest-only loans, it makes it possible for us.
Anyhow, I’ve been haunted by one of my recent sermons, “City of Dreaming Aliens”, where I basically talk about how we should be dreaming about the Kingdom of God, and not the American Dream. In our prayers, we’ve been asking God to search our hearts; it’s so easy to just assume that home-ownership is part-and-parcel with living in America.
There are a host of reasons that prompted me to start thinking about this, but recently, I’ve been thinking about the idea of a literal Christian community—a bunch of Christians living in close proximity to one another (walking distance), exploring faith together and also being a transformative light in the neighborhood. We as Christians make a commitment to living in that area—none of this moving around every 5 years—because we are committed to one another and to the people living in the neighborhood. We share life and even possessions with one another—why each of us buy a lawnmower when we can share one or two? why cook dinner every night when we can cook for one another…freeing the others for ministry?
This is very radical to my thinking, because my wife and I have thought a lot of hospitality, living close to church and family, but also about if the place looks nice, about equity, etc. Rethinking this in terms of a literal Christian community…that really challenges the approach that I’ve taken all along.
If this sounds like a cult to you, maybe I’m not communicating this right…this is not an exclusive community by any means, but rather Christians moving into a neighborhood together and being Jesus to one another and to everyone else in the neighborhood. It’s about being incarnational, to use a cryptic word.
I’m not saying this is what we’re doing for sure…but I don’t want to just engage in meaningless dreaming either. These are very underdeveloped ideas, but I just want to put them out there.