So we know walls are kind of a touchy subject right now… But we’ve never been known to shy away from difficult conversations. So here it goes… 😉
A couple of weeks ago, our team took a trip down to Tijuana to meet with Pastor Fito Gonzalez and his amazing wife, Cindy. They are doing some really cool stuff with their church down there and are hoping to do some uncommon good-like community building. It was awesome to spend time with kindred spirits who want to meet people where they are!
While we were down there, we also got to visit Friendship Park. Which is a park right at the border that acts as a symbol of binational friendship between the US and Mexico. Once a year, Children and adults from pre-selected families who are divided by the border are allowed to meet and embrace briefly. It was a surreal experience being there… knowing that it was a place that represented moments of extreme joy and deep sorrow. And that right on the other side of where we stood, was a very different world.
No matter what you think of walls, life near the border isn’t at all how it’s portrayed on the news. The cities and towns at the border are full of people, just like you and me, who are trying to live their lives. Provide for their families. Find happiness… And although there is a very clear dividing line, we have more in common with the people on the other side of the wall than not.
Whether we put up physical, emotional, or even digital walls… dividing lines tend to put people who are different than us in the category of “other”. But when we remove those lines, we are able to find the humanity in the “other”. And eventually see how much we are actually the same.
Jesus did this. It is how He lived His life and ministry. All were welcomed at the table with Him. Even the most reviled of His day. He created community for those who had none. And even the stories and parables He told exemplified His immense love and grace towards the outcast, the unloved, the other.
So this week, we’d like you to check out what Jesus, Paul, and our team has to say on the subject of dividing lines:
First, read Ephesians 2:14-18
“14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near.18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”
In a time when Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) couldn’t have been more separate, Jesus broke down the cultural and spiritual walls between the two and made them one people under Him. And now today, we are invited to do the same: take down the walls that we’ve put up in front of people who look, behave, or even believe differently than us… recognizing that Jesus Himself has already removed those walls, which in turn allows us to see “the other” as one with us under a God who loves and welcomes all.
Here’s another passage we reference our latest Podcast episode. Dividing Lines. Its a great story from Jesus called The Parable of the Pharisee & Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14
Now go listen to our Latest Podcast Episode – Dividing Lines
We love you all! You are welcome at our table. And speaking of that, here’s how you can get around a table with your uncommon [community] in March…
March and [tables]
March is all about connecting in community! And we believe God made us for this! In addition to our “Created to Commune” event on March 24th, we are excited to tell you about some mini “pop-up” events – including guy/gal gatherings – happening in March that are aimed at helping us all connect and continue to build this Uncommon [community].
Common Table Pop-Ups
These events are super simple: Gatherings at homes or other cool places focused on being with one another. Some will be family nights, some guy’s nights, some gal’s nights. Keep an eye on social media (be sure to follow us) to see when these pop ups with be. The first 12 (ish) people to RSVP in the comments will get a spot.
Monday & Wednesday Mornings, 10 – 11AM
Ryan, Pam, Dawn, and Cody will be meeting at various coffee shops in the Poway/RB area on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Come hang with us! Laugh with us. Ask us questions. Get excited about uncommon [goodness]! Keep an eye on social media for where we will be those days.
And that leads us to…
Created to [commune]…
Sunday, March 24th, Bernardo Winery, FREE
It’s time to rediscover the meaning of communion all together. No matter your past experience, communion was always meant to be a table where all are included.RSVP to Commune
As we work to find a regular space, our Podcast offers a consistent venue to engage with conversations about life, faith, and being human.
As we mentioned above, our latest episode, Dividing Lines is up and we’d love if you gave it a listen.
Find it on Apple, Google Play, Spotify… by searching “uncommon cast”.Listen to Uncommon Cast