When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. (Luke 14:12-14)
Creating an inclusive community is the holy grail of modern culture, but actually doing it is extremely difficult.
The very qualities that create a tight-knit community work against including outsiders.
That is, communities are almost always built around common interests or relationships. The stranger may not share those common interests. Why include someone when you don’t understand one another?
After Jesus’s resurrection, he told Mary Magdalene, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17), alluding to the community he created by his death and resurrection.
All Christians are bound together with him as fellow brothers and sisters.
Instead of pursuing intimacy, we should pursue love.
At the heart of any lasting community is the presence of Jesus leading us into his dying-resurrection love, the Redeemer creating mini-redeemers. No matter what our situation—single, happily married, divorced or in a difficult marriage—we can create community through love.