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We naturally gravitate towards people who are like us, who eat the same food that we do, who follow similar rhythms, who share similar values. There’s something human and healthy about this. But cultural difference also has a way of separating us from others who are not like us. Thick communities can become insular, difficult for outsiders to access. All of us can relate to the satisfaction of feeling like we fit in a community, and the loneliness of feeling that we have been left out. One of the greatest joys in the world is to feel “these are my people,” to feel that you belong. But how do we make space for those who don’t?

[Preaching Note: This sermon was a mediation on the tensions of Christian community. It starts with my reflections on attending the CrossFit games, and is an exposition of the way the Holy Spirit challenges our categories, confronts our self-congratulation, and clears a path for encounter with Jesus. (Can you tell I like alliteration)?]
Preached at Grace Pasadena in Pasadena, CA on July 31, 2016
Image by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto from Pixabay

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