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After two weeks, it was time to leave the mountain. At home I began to notice where the Spirit was lacking in each of my communities. I also began to notice all of the places where the Spirit was at work. 

I realized that this beautiful idea of community isn’t impossible or even unreasonable here at home, because at Duke I experienced Jesus in the atmosphere, the hugs, the tears, the attitudes, the talks, and the love. I realized that all of these things are attainable at home, too.   

Our church is a Christian community—it just happens to be a community of 3,000 people. In such a big church, it’s easy to lose sight of this Spirit. So my challenge for myself, and for you, is to let the living God we serve into this community every chance we get, and to strive for the beauty a community of God can experience.

Be aware of the needs of the community. We live in a culture that tries to break this sort of community apart, and we can’t dance around the issues we all know are there. Let’s confront the problems of teen sex, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, the demand for financial success, time management, the unrealistic expectations set in the workforce.  The list of problems we all face every day is unending.  It could do a lot of good to discuss these things and provide support—instead of pretending the problems aren’t there.   

If we continue down this path together, who knows where the Lord will take us?   If we keep our eyes and hearts open to His Spirit, our community will continue to grow, and when we hear about communities in the Scriptures, we won’t have to wonder about the extra bit of beauty, because we’ll be living it.

At Duke, I got a true glimpse of what heaven must be and how it really feels to be a part of the hot coals. It’s this feeling that restored my faith in God and prepares my heart to serve the Lord.  Remember, we serve a living God, and if we just let God into our lives and communities, we’ll find that heaven really can be here on earth.  

Duke Youth Academy

Each summer, the Duke Youth Academy invites 50 students from across the nation to participate in an intentional Christian community for two weeks. Staff and students learn from divinity professors, serve the Durham community, and worship daily through Word, Table, art and fellowship.  

The 2005 Duke Youth Academy will take place July 10-23, 2005, on campus at Duke University.  Information and applications are available online at www.duyouth.duke.edu.  Student applications for the 2005 program are due Feb.18,2005. Need-based financial aid is available. For more information, call  (919) 660-3542 or e-mail duyouth@div.duke.edu.


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DIVINITY Online Edition :: Winter 2004 Volume 3 Number 2 Duke Divinity School