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December 27, 2007


Eric H Janzen

I would say we are called to live in community in a profound way on earth. The Church ought to be a fellowship of people marked by relationships that are remarkable in today's world. Relationships of love and caring for one another, relationships that exemplify what it means to carry one another's burdens, relationships that are non-abusive, and relationships that walk through conflict coming out the other end in forgiveness and renewed unity...to name a few aspects.

As far as being edenesque is concerned the answer would be in some ways no. We live in the tension of the already not yet, but we also have something unique to a post resurrection era: the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are invited to walk with the very presence of God at any given moment. The 'cool of the garden' is ever present within us. We can never return to Eden and never will. The already of our present is far different and the future glory is something that has never been seen before in the history of humanity.

I think the Church would do well to focus less on the future and look to the present more. In John 17 Jesus expresses numerous times that the ultimate witness to the world about the reality of who He is will come from the love they see amidst those who are the 'church'. The concept of Shalom Community is, in my view, one of the most central parts of the story of the Bible from Genesis right through to Revelation.

Thanks for commenting Andy.

Andy Janzen

Are we called then to live in community as best can be done on earth? Is it possible to create an edenesque community today (with obvious shortcomings)? Is this what the Church is called to; not just preaching the future glory but the "ALREADY, not yet"?

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