Sunday, June 17, 2012


This bed is my resting place for the next months in a 1925 Victorian-style house in upstate New York. I wear the floppy flower hat when we work on the organic biodynamic CSA farm and in the community gardens.

Living in intentional interfaith community, and sharing a 2.5 bathroom house with 18 other bodies, is quite a joyful task and learning experience. The biggest challenge for me as far as dialogue with Muslims, Jews, and Christians of other stripes and scales goes, is in reconciling our similarities, not in living with our differences. I am confronted again and again about how much my "faith" is merely about feeling good about being good, and feeling bad about being bad, and how much I still practice vague spirituality, legalistic morality, general psychology, and wider mysticism, rather than hope in Christ alone.

Everything else is common ground: religious goodness. And I must say, most of my new friends do it better, dress and pray and eat and hope and work and sing, with more piety and skill and religiosity than I. There must be more. Kun said, these are realizations you can't make unless you interact a lot with people of other faith, and that every religion has good principles to live by, and that it is good for me to be put into that context.

Put into that context? How is it that we are not already in this context all the time? We have managed to withdraw, somehow, from this pluralistic world. I suspect that as Christians, we should encounter this conflict far more often than we actually do, and that it would drive us to Jesus Christ each time confessing "I need Thee every hour!" As it is, our cloisters blind us to how un-distinct and ironically un-set-apart we are, how much we are not in the world.

Father, save Your church from mere moralistic therapeutic deism, give us Jesus, fill our discernment with You, and send us out in Jesus' sweet saving name.

1 comment:

  1. that's such an exciting learning experience esther!

    such an important question of "what separates your Jesus from all the other gods and faiths of the world" and you have such an amazing hands on way to learn that.

    I'm almost jealous! will be praying for ya. can't wait to hear all you learn.