Recently I’ve given a lot of thought to the differences between “order” and “structure’. Order identifies what comes before or after. Structure refers to recognition, stability of patterns, and relationships of entities. God creates and reveals both.
Have you noticed how people gather to discuss order (what comes before or after)? Most gatherings hing on that context. Ideas are tossed around and a plan/agenda is made. Programs are born.
God has already ordered what comes before and after. Perhaps if we focused first on the structure (the relationship) between God and each other our dialogue would change, our minds would be renewed, and we would realize transformation (Romans 12:2). Community would replace fragmentation and we would create future instead of define future. We would focus on generosity and hospitality instead of fixing problems.
My hat’s off to Peter Block who has augmented the Bible with his intuitive book “Community: The Structure of Belonging“. In it Peter defines various ways of structuring experiences of belonging. While Peter has provided various ways, the Bible gives us the way, the truth, and the life (Jesus). Both books are an excellent read – enjoy them!