"Community"-it's not just our name-it's our mission!
At the top of our cross-tower, there is a Celtic cross, a powerful symbol for Community. It includes the circle and the cross. Both are essential to understanding who we are as a Christian community.
The circle is a symbol of God's Creation. So much of the natural world---from the orbit of the earth to the shape of the birds nest, from the pupil in your eye to the shape of a dewdrop on the morning grass---appears as a circle. We speak of "the circle of friends" and "the great cycle of life."
Community is about drawing circles. We draw circles of love to embrace all that we find good and holy and right.
The problem with most circles is that they are too small. When we speak of a circle of friends, we usually mean a group of people who think and talk and act like us. More often than not, these friends live in the same kinds of houses and drive the same kinds of cars and eat the same kinds of breakfast cereals that we do. People who have different colored skin and foreign accents, four-legged creatures, plants and the earth are often left outside the circle of our concern.
That's why the cross is so important. Where the movement of the circle is centripetal (in upon itself), the movement of the cross is centrifugal (reaching out). The cross is not just a symbol of "personal salvation," the cross is a reminder that gave us Jesus because "God so loved the world (cosmos)" (John 3:16).
Edward Markham, a Disciples poet, wrote these lines about drawing circles in Christian community:
He drew a circle to shut me out
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout,
But love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle that took him in.
In the light of God's love---shown to us in the life, death and resurrection of Christ---we are called to draw bigger circles. Circles that include. That's why we say...
Community is more than our name. It's our mission. Please join us in that mission this coming Sunday!