Where is the Body of Christ in Everyday Life?
by Mark Votava
So many years have gone by where I haven’t experienced the body of Christ in everyday life. I have almost given up on my spirituality. I have often wondered, Where is a sense of community in everyday life? What is the body of Christ doing together besides just gathering in a meeting or a building? Why do we define church apart from an everyday expression in the place we live?
I don’t understand these things most of the time. They are confusing to me and do not support my own growth, development and formation in the world. I have always wanted to be a part of a radical movement that subverts the status quo, but what I have found is my Christianity being reduced to going to church. This has bored me and has not supported my faith.
Why is it that this dualistic way of church is hindering us from experiencing life? The church should not keep us from following what is authentic, but I am afraid many times it does. This must frustrate God. Why is this not more of a frustration to us too?
God is probably sad over the colonial, individualistic spirituality in North America that we have created through our lack of faithful presence. As I have found that my spirituality is experienced as an embodied practice in the place I live in everyday life together with others. It all comes down to listening, love, grace and humility.
I want to love the church and hope for its life in the world. I want to be a part of a community in the parish in everyday life that can give inspiration to others. So I am facing the temptation to stop loving the world, but God is calling me to love the place I live, to be a neighbor, to be a friend.
- Being cocreators of the future
We are to be cocreators of the future of the place we inhabit together. It is our local responsibility, our local investment and local ownership that will develop the parish imagination among us. Tom Sine says, “Incredibly, God invites us to be cocreators in giving imaginative expression to God’s new creation in the here and now…”
- Creating the parish imagination in everyday life
We are called to be “imaginative expressions” of the body of Christ in everyday life together in the parish. There is no franchise approach to this. When we cocreate with God through the parish imagination; our expressions will be organic, grassroots, creative, contextual, relational and based on our gifts together. All our assets will come together to create the parish imagination in everyday life.
- The cocreation of beauty in our world
This is the cocreation of beauty in our world together in everyday life. Our expressions of local responsibility could subvert the empire. Our expressions of local investment could subvert the status quo. Our expressions of local ownership could subvert the systems that are creating fragmentation, loneliness and isolation.
How can we be cocreators of the future of our world together?