Thankful for place

This thanksgiving I’m thankful for place - my home, my neighborhood, my community. I love traveling and exploring, but I also love rootedness and belonging. As I examine my daily life and the many places of connection, I’m thankful for what is right in front of me.

James Davison Hunter offers this insight which has inspired my thanksgiving this year:

“A theology of faithful presence first calls Christians to attend to the people and places they experience directly. It is not that believers should be disconnected from, or avoid responsibility for, people and places across the globe. Far from it. Christians are called to “go into all the world,” after all and to carry the good news in word and deed that God’s kingdom has come. But with that said, the call of faithful presence gives priority to what is right in front of us—the community, the neighborhood, and the city, and the people of which these are constituted. For most, this will mean a preference for stability, locality, and particularity of place and its needs. It is here, through the joys, sufferings, hopes, disappointments, concerns, desires, and worries of the people with whom we are in long-term and close relation—family, neighbors, coworkers, and community—where we find our authenticity as a body and as believers. It is here where we learn forgiveness and humility, practice kindness, hospitality, and charity, grow in patience and wisdom, and become clothed in compassion, gentleness, and joy. This is the crucible within which Christian holiness is forged. This is the context from within which shalom is enacted.” (Hunter, To Change the World, 253)


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