Thursday, August 6, 2015

Gathering Communities

We gather together to work, to learn, to grow; we gather into communities, towns, universities. People everywhere, they live in groups, they live in families; they cherish their friends and they spend time together, supporting and enjoying their ways and their company. We get sick, we go to hospitals to help us recover.
What all these things have in common, with each of us in our everyday lives, is that inescapable fact that humanity, as a species, seems hard wired for gathering.

 Into groups we collect and revel.
Together. It all seems so natural. Why, by working together, supporting and accomplishing worthwhile tasks, what could be better?
The person who lives stalwartly alone, who is friendless, who has very little or no community to speak of, that is a person often pitied and eyed suspiciously. We exclaim, "are they ill? Why are they such loners?"
This all makes simple sense. It seems so natural to gather, to enjoy the company of our brothers and sisters, our loves and loved here on earth.
Yet when the matter turns to named things such as 'religion', many of us recoil. Why? Well, it seems we don't think to belong after all. Some don't want to belong. Thus reinventing the 'spiritual' wheel is okay.

In fact, it's better than okay. It may be for these persons, the only way to demonstrate their will to 'pull themselves up by the bootstraps.' Many among us think, in spiritual terms, that there are aliens around us, to be avoided at all costs.
Infected with perhaps a strong sense of humanist enlightenment, a person with such notions eschews anything of community within the context of faith.

Yet if a faith community is true, existing for a higher purpose, for the common good, then it is, it must be and it will do something. Let me say this again: Churches, mosques, temples, ashrams and so forth exist because they do something for others.
If they do not, they they exist not for long. Communities survive and thrive because of the activities of each of its constituents. What each of us contributes to the good of all, is the community.

It is this fact that escapes many in the blog-sphere. Simply talking isn't sufficient, nor are kind thoughts or nice words and graphics. Communities must do something, and religious communities continue and persist for this very simple reason!
 Join the collective, engage in acts of social justice. Learn about yourself from another's eyes.
Help a friend. Be a community, be a support.

No comments: