Ernest A. Jefferson, Jr.



Thought for Thursday - Do We Live in Beloved Communities?

Posted by Ernest on May 4, 2023 at 9:30 AM

Recently, I participated in a book study, Living into God’s Dream. One chapter referenced the concept of a Beloved Community. A Beloved Community can be defined as a community in which everyone is cared for and that is absent from poverty, hunger, and hate. It is a community comprised of friendship, goodwill, and a deep human connection. While many people are attributed to this concept, it’s actually a Biblical principle. In Acts 2, we are shown what this type of community looks like: And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common. They began selling their property and possessions to share the proceeds with anyone who had a need. They met in the temple daily continuing with one mind and breaking bread together in various private homes. They were eating their meals together with joy and generous hearts, praising God continually, and having favor with all people. And the Lord kept adding to their number daily those who were being saved.

All of this came to my mind from a conversation that I had with my neighbor on Monday evening. We were both taking our garbage receptables to the curb at the same time and struck up a conversation. I was amazed at how much my neighbor knew about the lives of people in our neighborhood. She shared how one neighbor recently lost his wife to brain cancer, and how another couple recently had a baby, and the list went on. She and her husband grow a garden each year and always share the harvest with those in our neighborhood. I affectionately recall the Briarhollow Community that I grew up in Ware Shoals, SC. It certainly had some aspects of being a Beloved Community.

The demographics of my neighborhood are interesting. There are about 70 homes on my street of which the majority are White households, four are Black households, one Hispanic household, and at least one Asian household. While I’m cordial to all my neighbors – except for when their dogs do their business in my yard, I’m not very committed to developing intentional relationships with them that would result in a Beloved Community. I consider myself a very social person, but it’s interesting that I cultivate those communities and social interactions in groups outside of my neighborhood.

Do you live in a Beloved Community? Or what are your thoughts about a Beloved Community?


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