Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Friendship: Hospitality, dialogue, collaboration and partnership are at the heart of establishing deep relationships among people, organizations and God. This will require giving and sacrifice, as we follow the model of Jesus, who in true friendship laid down his life.

One of the things we discovered early on about what God was doing in and through the Open Door was developing partnerships and friendships with other churches, organizations and people. We desire to be collaborators, cohorts and friends with others who are doing kingdom work. This is be incarnated in our friendship with the Union Project. The UP is an amazing organization committed to providing learning, gathering, and working space for artists, community builders, and people of faith. We in turn are committed to helping one another fulfill our missions together. The UP has things to offer us and the OD has thing to offer them. As we share our gathering space, office space and our lives together this is an opportunity to build friendships and partnerships with folks from all walks of life. What flows out of working together is a willingness to dialogue and practice hospitality among people who might not necessarily see eye to eye or normally have an opportunity interact with one another due to socio-economic, political, religious or any other divergent life situations or perspectives. We feel called to a third way that seeks to build honest communication, dialogue, interaction and understanding – friendship. Friendship is not just relativism where everything is ok and there are no standards to hold one another to. Nor is friendship indifference where everything is equal and one does not really care about personal or organizational decisions. Nor is friendship a syncretistic melding of ideas and perspectives into some cosmic or universal entity of best practices. Rather friendship engages “the other” in authentic, honest, truthful, relationship seeking to bring out the best in one another even the enemy as Jesus said. Our world is desperate for genuine friendship and as a community we hope to build that kind of spirit by creating an atmosphere and spaces of authentic dialogue, giving and sacrifice, and create a third way that builds bridges in a world of polarization, warfare and strife.

Some of Jesus’ finals words were to go and make friends: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:12-17). Through Christ’s death and sacrifice Jesus made and chose us to be friends with God. We in turn demonstrate our friendship with God by obeying what Jesus taught us which is summarized in laying down our lives in love for God and others. This produces the fruit of greater friendship with God and with one another. Hmmmm…

No comments: