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The Shalom Community: Gospel and Praxis

Posted February 24, 2017 by Caleb Luk '17

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shalom-students

How is the Gospel lived out in all areas of life? This has been the core question I have had throughout my time in the Shalom Community. A hope I had entering this community was to learn the narratives of others in the body of Christ and the forces that have shaped our journeys thus far. The Shalom Community is a group of juniors and seniors who have committed to a year of living and learning together about cross-cultural narratives and the history of race relations, both as individuals and a society as a whole. 

In addition to weekly meetings and a semester-long class in the fall, discussions on campus events and meals have provided the community with avenues to learn the diverse interests of each other through a common vocabulary.

Is that Parks and Rec. I hear?

Hey, I’m making crêpes, you want some? 

The answer to the last question is yes, always yes.  

shalom-dinner

At our retreat in the fall, we were huddling around a campfire with the starry sky above when it was mentioned that Doritos served as great tinder for a fire. 

Doritos?! That junk food? A few pieces were tossed into the flame and a great blaze erupted above the place where the chips had landed.

Is that us? We are labeled as lesser by society and ourselves, yet in passing through the fire, we realize the truth placed in us all. 

The more narratives I hear of great sorrow and injustice, the more I realize the great need for the Gospel. From a deep acknowledgement of being the Beloved rather than gaining acceptance through works, we are free to learn from others and are given the strength to be partakers in the Kingdom. 

The truth of the Gospel is satisfying, yet it leads to more questions:How do the cultures of theologians and scholars contribute to the expression of the Gospel? Is our faith in Christ guiding our ways of pursuing justice, or are we having our ideas of justice guide our faith? Are we merely drawing on Bible verses that support our viewpoints, or are we living in the greater narrative? 

My thoughts are but one of many perspectives in this year’s Shalom Community. Through our common faith in Christ, each of us has the ability to honor other bearers of the Imago Dei and share each other’s narratives in our spheres of influence.

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Caleb Luk ’17 is a senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry and Biblical and Theological Studies. Visit this link to learn more about the Shalom Community at Wheaton. Photo captions (top to bottom): Caleb (second from right) and fellow Shalom Community members; dinner preparations for a weekly dinner meeting; Shalom Community members enjoying a weekly dinner together.

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