Had a great time at the Rutba House and Walltown community this week talking with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and our Carolina Cohort of the Academy for Missional Wisdom. We were looking at the specifics of that intentional community as an introduction to our upcoming classes and local intentional community projects. Below are just a few things that this visit brought to my mind as we pursue the creation of radical Christian communities in Detroit.
- Ordinariness abounds in the midst of the extraordinary. I'm sure many pilgrims to Rutba and the Simple Way have found this to be true, but I was struck this week by the simple, day-to-day-ness of this community. Morning prayers catch people with sleep in their eyes, and there are dishes to do after community meals. Just like Jesus walking along dusty roads, God's kin-dom has this penchant for taking root among our everdays if we let it.
- Soft words + Tamborines x Unicycles. We can spend many great hours sharing deeply about the stories of Christian communities. Those conversations can inspire and instruct us in these endeavors. They are needed. But if we do so while missing the garden wedding parties with unicycles and tamborines, then I think God rolls heavenly eyes at us in a loving, "Sheesh! Can you believe these folks?" I was glad our little class took the time to be a part of the preparations for the wedding down the street while we were there - it brought that liveliness into our explorations.
- Sing a song. Sometimes, even when you don't know one, you should sing a song. It brings people together and says something about your community's intentions that no amount of blogging, preaching, or talking on the stoop can do.
Many of us want Detroit to be our extraordinary experience of thought-provoking witness and mission. But maybe, this city can learn from our brothers and sisters in Durham and be a radically ordinary wedding party for Jesus that bring all together in a song that fills the air with peace, justice, mercy and transformation.