For us in New Creation Christian Community, it is a response to a shared passion. We want to follow Jesus. We want to be where He is. And we have found Him to be primarily where His people gather together and determine to obey His command to love.
'This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.' (1 John 3:16-18)
So we share our houses, share our money, share our possessions, our time, our dreams, our joys and pains. We share a vision.
Christian community is primarily Christian and secondarily community. That is, it is first about a person - Jesus - and second about people. And then, far less important, but still worth noting, come things like the effect such simplicity has on the environment, the economy, and society at large.
It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said: 'He who loves community, destroys community. He who loves the brethren, builds community.' Christian Community is about people - Jesus' people.
Given this, it may seem strange that this collection of photographs (taken mainly at one of our large community houses) has few people in it. (People feature in these pictures fleetingly, almost by accident.) But sometimes, over time, objects and buildings can begin, strangely, to tell the story of the people who live among and within them more eloquently than the people themselves.
And, together, the houses and objects - and the people they tell us about - tell us of the Person... the head of the house.
On that day 'Holy to the Lord' will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. (Zechariah 14:20)
Community springs from prayer or it ends in stress.
Spelling it out.
Let them eat cake.
And behold, it was done.
The inevitable flapjack.
Dyed in the wood.
Kath and a cat.
Table and chairs, waiting...
Through a glass dimly. But love remains.
A miniature planetarium?
Spoons and their friends.
Faith as a seed.
Armchairs and windows, waiting.
Keys of the kingdom.
Who needs Mothercare?
Sure as eggs is eggs (and we get through quite a lot).
At your service.