A friend of mine who blogs at Deeper in Me than I posted an articleabout a church she interned at in Philly. I think the article, and this church, really capture something about community. In fact I think much of the church’s attempts at community fail because they simply don’t get this. But I don’t distance myself from that group that “doesn’t get it” because I am just beginning to see it. This quote in the article really captures the crux of it for me
“If we act as if BSM [Broad Street Ministry] is about OK people helping not-OK people – that’s not a community”
While many soup kitchens and homeless shelters do what they can with what they have in order to benefit the most amount of people, I have not heard of another place where homeless folks are served at tables with white linen table cloths. After all, if we have a friend or family member over for dinner, we wouldn’t usually pull out the plastic forks and spoons and serve their food on paper plates.
Jesus destroyed class and hierarchy. The last place we should find it is in the church. And yet it is there. Like the pink elephant in the room. It’s sad. Very sad. Our communion is broken. The oneness God desires us to have with the rest of God’s image-bearers is broken in pieces. Because we don’t see the people who are homeless, the people who collect our trash, and the person who are prostitutes as people. We objectify them and denigrate them as “other” in order to maintain our comfortable living conditions. The truth is we are all “not-OK.”
God? Please help me and my brothers and sisters to embrace those of your children that the world has deemed rejects. Please help us to restore the fellowship that should exist between all people. And let us start with one person at a time.