Sunday, January 19, 2014

More Jesus, Less Stuff: Community

The month before SLS I was struggling with my relationship with Jesus. Like, really struggling. So I sat down to look at my life when I got back from SLS. What is different from last year? Where have I elbowed Jesus out? 

The first thing that struck me: I am not having intentional relationships and conversations that focus on Jesus. Stuff gets in the way and I am struggling to focus on the Lord's presence in my everyday living and friendships. 

Step 1 is awareness. Done. Step 2 is action. 

It's not that I have a lack of a Catholic community, it's that I have allowed myself to become lukewarm. When I hang out with friends, we talk about whatever or fill the space with media. If Jesus comes up, I've turned Him into an abstract idea, not a real person who is there with us. I noticed this at SLS when I was talking to a friend and I became uncomfortable talking about Jesus. Hmmm, that's a problem.

I was hanging out with Elizabeth when I got back from SLS and suddenly felt the strong need to gather some women around food to talk about Jesus. I almost didn't bring it up, but praise God for making me receptive to His nudge.
Me: "So, this is going to sound weird, but that quiche in the display case really made me want to get people together for brunch like once a month to talk about Jesus and have community."
Elizabeth: "Ah! I'm so glad you said that! I was just talking about that with Mary the other day about how that's something we really need in our lives!"

Bam. Responding to the promptings of The Spirit and being intentional.

We planned a brunch two days later and 4 other women showed up. Pretty good for last minute. We ate, we laughed, we got to know each other, and then we whipped out Flannery. 

Later, I was talking to Megan and she told me she was so grateful for the brunch. It is cool to see how it's already bearing fruit in our lives and how simply responding to a weird urge to bake quiche for my friends grew into a way to bring us all closer to Jesus. Intentional living. It's happening, man.

So to continue this theme of community, I'm writing some letters this week and taking a few days off to be with visiting friends. I'm looking for some other ways to be intentional about my friendships. What are some ways that you are intentional?! I'd love to hear in the comments!

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