Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Christian Perspective

- André Jaquet -
Before the service began in church last Sunday, I was struck by the number of people in the congregation I knew by name. I knew where most of them lived, what they did or had done before moving to our village. I was filled with gratitude to be part of the community of Prince Albert and said a silent prayer of thanks.
As I did so, Ailsa Tudhope’s lovely voice intruded, with a quotation from Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury:

“One of the phrases that a slightly younger generation than mine likes to use a lot is 'Get a life!'... ‘Get a life' is said to people who are meshed into narrow, boring, obsessive, forms of life. People who have no horizons beyond their immediate concerns, their immediate hobbies are bores. … ‘Get a life’: let’s say that to our society…If you want to grow, to move, to expand, to be enlarged as a human being, if you want to pass on that enlarged sense of what humanity is all about to another generation, well this is the way to do it.”

At first I congratulated myself on having chosen to live and ‘Get a Life’ here and to have become part of the community. But when that smug thought came to mind, my conscience posed the uncomfortable fact that we are in fact not one, but two communities.

The Oxford dictionary describes a community as ‘an organised body of people living in the same space’. A good friend shared a better definition with me:

“Somewhere where there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. A space where a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us when we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done; arms to hold us when we falter, a circle of healing and a collection of friends, a place where we can be free”.

Would our lives not be much richer and satisfying and our consciences clearer if we worked hard to become a common community?

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