Original Posting At http://thenakedalien.blogspot.com/2018/08/how-to-be-community.html
An ecological community is an interdependent group of plants and animals living together in complex relationship. As we learn more and more about healthy ecosystems, we have changed our concept of these relationships from the “Chain of Life” (who eats who) to the “Web of Life” (who needs who).
Not all relationships in any given group are equal however…
Parasitic: Some profit and others lose;
Commensal: Some profit but nobody loses; or
Communal: Everybody profits.
Do we see these sorts of relationships in our churches? In our society?
In Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2, Paul has some tips on developing healthy community relationships:
1. Stop trying to be what you aren’t – be true to yourself and to others;
2. Remember, we all belong to each other;
3. You may be angry but you may not hate;
4. Don’t use your mouth for tearing down, but for building up – let grace flow off your tongue;
5. Don’t give God a reason to cry;
6. Don’t be a stinky jerk; but
7. Imitate Jesus and be a fragrant offering.
Do we imitate Christ or or do we mimic Christ? The non-toxic Viceroy mimics the toxic Monarch so it gains street cred without having to eat nasty Milkweed. There is a Lightning Bug which mimics the flashing light pattern of females of a different species so that it may attract males of that species and eat them.
“Never rest again in the dead formality of religion. Pursue with your inward and outward holiness, a steady imitation of him you worship, a still increasing resemblance of his imitable perfections, his justice, mercy, and truth.” (John Wesley; Advice to a People Called Methodist)
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” (Mother Theresa)