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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Community Needs Humility

The virtue of humility is a complex notion. As we engage our lives in community, interacting with one another, diversity becomes apparent in a magnitude of ways. Each of us is unique and therefore there is a natural tendency to think independently. We see each other through the lens of our context in our own life experiences. Often this is reinforced by others of like mind who harbour similar attitudes and perspectives as ourselves in some common areas of our association. In a community setting when we all come together, our differences emerge. It is within community where humility must grace our lives and thrive in our interactions one with another. Humility is a heart attitude, a choice on our part as a disciple, whereby we intentionally choose to set aside our choices and seek God’s demeanor of love, grace and peace. It is a posture of emptying ourselves and opening ourselves to the other. In this frame of mind our aggressive defensiveness is replaced by a spirit nurtured willingness for harmony. 

Society’s “me” culture fosters a defensive mechanism for creating barriers, protecting my interests and forming alliances to safeguard our norms. These notions result in separation, detachment and opinion camps in our midst. Each person, group, entity has good intentions, valuable ideas and are honourable people. But each thinks in terms of exclusivity, ownership and with fear of the unknown in the other. The easiest course of action is to be critical of each other without engaging in conversation about the differences that exist. What we might think of as “faithful criticism” from a defensive standpoint of perceived rightness creates inner turmoil within ourselves and denies the emergence of the “sacred” in community.

In the context of a congregational setting where change, power, inadequate communication and lack of dialogue exists, unity dissolves into factional disarray. In these times of divisiveness whether it be personal or collective in nature, we need to step back and practice what we know as enduring principles and promote as communities of joy, hope, love and peace. To have unity in our diversity we need to draw upon the grace we have received in Christ and humbly offer it to the other. Mindfully praying the Lord ’s Prayer lifts up forgiveness for self and others and places us in a position to “be with” others; accepting their inestimable worth in personhood and inviting their voiced viewpoints in discussion. Let us dialogue together. Let us explore new ways of seeing, of questioning, of formulating solutions. Dialogue is not easy. The heart of its working structure is an attitude of humility, of emptying oneself, of knowing the spirit leads us beyond what we think we know to a blending of our diversity into a unified whole.

Mission does not happen in a vacuum. It erupts from within when we encounter the sacred in our lives. When divisiveness exists we become indifferent and detached. Our sense of mission disappears. Let us journey upon a pilgrimage of the heart to rediscover the source of life and grace that makes us whole. May the sacred in community be experienced in love for one another. May this impel us to live in Mission as Christ alongside our diverse brothers and sisters in a common cause, united in one body. This is my prayer.   

submitted by Kerry

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