The community of Taize was designed by Brother Roger to be a place of Christian spiritual renewal-specifically for young people. While it might have a Catholic feel, it is a Protestant community, but all Christian traditions participate to include Eastern Orthodox. While there are programs for those of us over 30, the emphasis is for young people, especially in the summer.
The picture above is a lake that has a waterfall feeding it. This is a quiet place of solitude and contemplation. In addition there are stations along the path with carved wooden pictures from scenes of the life of Jesus.
Spiritual renewal is the primary focus and it is realized in both worship and forming community. The brothers of Taize form important community; as a monastic community, for those who visit for the week (or summer), and in the world. There are literally people from all over the world here. This week there is a large group from Russia, Germany and Sweden. Many languages are spoken. Teaching is translated into several languages and Taize songs are sung in many languages.
As community we worship together three times a day, have meals together ( they are very simple meals), and participate in chores together.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of community life is worshipping Jesus together in so many languages. Many languages are spoken and sung. Each says the Lord’s Prayer in their own language. It is truly ecumenical in nature.
Yesterday I learned that my Swedish roommate is also a Pastor in the Lutheran Church in Sweden. We have much to talk about! She is the equivalent of a district superintendent. This morning I ate breakfast with a pastor from Holland from the Reformed church. While most of the adults are not pastors, I just happen to find some pastors. ( Is it the Holy Spirit drawing us together?)
Gathering together as the body of Christ, from the ends of the earth is a powerful experience. Where do you feel most connected to the greater body of Christ? “I can worship Jesus by myself without community” is unbiblical. Jesus came to form community, as together we stand more powerful than as individuals. What does community life with the body of Christ look like for you? How do you live into that community on a regular basis?