Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
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Please read this passage in your Bible or follow it as a link: Luke 5:27-39
The Pizza Box
The semester had been bumping along with the usual readings, quizzes, and the occasional brief paper, but now John was mired in the muck of assignments that demanded more of his time. It was Saturday, but he had been working most of the afternoon. It had been a long time since noon when he had breakfast. Those Cocoa Puffs were beginning to wear thin. There was nothing appealing to eat in the kitchen. He called to his suitemate, "Do you want to get a pizza, Chris?" No answer. He yelled out again. No answer. He went over to Chris's room and stuck his head in the door. He had fallen asleep with his head on his Physics book. John thought that it was a good thing that they were required to buy textbooks in college. No one would want to have use Chris's drool damaged books.
John screamed, "Chris! Hide the beer. Your mom is here!"
Chris didn't lift his head, "Can't move. Must have food."
"Hey. I know. I could order a pizza."
"Good. Pizza good."
John ordered the pizza. He could hear Chris moving around in his room. The Drooler awakes! There was a knock at the door. John answered the door hoping the pizza was that quick. It was Rebecca from across the hall. "Rebecca! You're here too?"
"It's getting to be that time of the semester." She came in and flopped down on the sofa.
"Do you want to share a pizza with Chris and I?"
"That'd be great. I'm starving."
The pizza finally came and the three friends decided to eat outside. The sky was still blue and the weather was warm. They sat on the grass and talked while they ate. John, Chris, and Rebecca told each stories about their families. They complained about their professors. They looked to each other for support for problems with friends and the overwhelming workload. Community was created and they loved one another. In that sense of community, their loads were lightened and the assignments seemed more manageable.
They had a grand time as darkness fell. They went back inside and continued their work. Unfortunately, the pizza box was mostly black. They left it there absentmindedly in the twilight where I found it the next morning and took its picture.
Jesus enjoyed a good meal shared among friends and strangers alike. In his time he was criticized for being a drunkard and a glutton. He ate with the "wrong" people, and he sat down at table with the "right" people too. It didn't matter to Jesus with whom he ate. He wanted to be in the company of people who needed community. Jesus created that sense of community that brought people relief from hardship, and he gave joy just for being one who cared.
I know of a woman who strives to create community in her dormitory. She frequently invites friends over for dinner enjoying the cooking and the shared meal equally well. She leaves the door open to her suite as she bakes cookies. The wonderful smell reminds people of home or grandma's where the family gathers in the kitchen waiting for that first batch to come out of the oven. So they come to her door. So they gather in community around cookies and milk. The Holy Spirit is among them binding them together as friends and as part of greater humanity.
We were not meant to live in isolation, but in conversation and in company with one another. God wants us to open our doors and gently invite others in to share. We are invited to share our stories, our hardships, our hopes, and our dreams. We are called by God to be a friend and to have friends with whom we can gather on the grass around a pizza box in the evening or around the oven as the cookies are browning. We are meant to be in community with one another.
Pray that God would open the door of your heart to all in need of community.
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