Who would have imagined that creating physical distance from one another would create in us a greater concern for each other, and a stronger sense of being ‘community’!
We don’t know what lies ahead in this uncertain moment in history, but what we do know is that there will be a future to be lived.
Michael Casey, (Cistercian monk from Tarrawarra community in Melbourne) in his latest book, Grace On the journey to God, poses that:
There is much in life that is uncertain, and it is likely that too much certainty will insulate us from the demands of reality.
What does this mean for us as Church?
We see the companions of Jesus became insulated from the demands of the reality of Gospel living while Jesus was with them, and it was only after His resurrection that they began to truly understand His message.
Could this time in our lives be experienced as an invitation to be open to God’s grace, to transform and to change both our attitudes and what we had hold as values, in our lives and in our faith practice? Has our previous certainty insulated us from the demands of reality?
What have we experienced in our lives that we hope to retain?
What do we wish to let go of, as we come back together in our church building?
We have been given time to explore opportunities to live life differently, to form community from a changed landscape with a new perspective.
God is Love and Eucharist is a verb. It is what we do, give, and receive. In giving what we can and receiving what we need, the foundation for the building of a strong sense of community, becomes relationship. It is who I am and who we are to each other, a connection at the level of our hearts that matters!
Jesus in his relationships really believed God was present in each person, so he constantly looked for that presence until he found it, in spite of all messages to the contrary. This presence of the divine in a person was who he came to free, to heal, to become the heart energy for Gospel living.
“Love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.” Jn 13:34
When this is the basis of how community is formed there are no barriers to belonging, all must be included. When we are open to recognising God’s presence within each person, and all of creation, there is no room for exclusion, no one is rejected.
We all have gifts, and in this pandemic time, there have been great expressions of generosity, compassion, courage, sacrifice, acceptance, equality and solidarity.
Two people excited about the same thing are the beginning of almost everything new, creative, and risky in our world. Surely this is what Jesus meant by his first and most basic definition of church as ‘two or three gathered.' (Matthew 18:20)
‘I greet the presence of God in you’. Could this be an expression of our grounded connection with God, ourselves, each other and our world without exclusion?
A new landscape upon which community, at a heart level, can begin to form.
“He is with you, he is in you…..” Jn 14:17