Over the last terms we’ve been looking at equality and respect, we’ve looked at many different aspects with both these themes and I think this week’s theme really brings them together. Nelson Mandela said
“The challenge for each one of you is take these ideals of tolerance and respect for others and put them to practical use in your schools, your communities and throughout your lives”
It is all very well for us to know that people have equal rights, but the challenge really is to put that teaching in to practice, in all aspects of life, but especially in our communities as that is when communities grow.
Recently you may have heard the stories of Wainfleet in Lincolnshire, a village that has been flooded and people have had to leave to their homes. In all of the reports when they spoke to the people affected they spoke of the community pulling together.
In fact that is often when the word community comes up, when there are difficult times, but is that the only time it is important?
I’m going to say NO!
Yes, community. Is great when things are difficult, but should we wait until then? How much better if we took the time to develop community in all circumstances, so that when things are difficult it’s not such a big deal. In the letter to the Hebrews it says
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching”
Meeting together, encouraging each other, fantastic examples of the importance of community. Jesus didn’t work on his own but he lived in community with his twelve disciples along with other close companions as well. The Christian idea of God is also a community of The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Humans are made to be in relationship with one another, we are good for one another, not just in who groups and chats on social media, but in person. What can you do to develop the relationships in communities that you are part of?
Prayer: father God we thank you that you have made us to be in relationship with one another, thank you for the example of community that you demonstrate. Help us to appreciate the communities that we are part of and develop them to help others. Amen