Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Heart and Soul

No one is an island
No one stands alone.
Each one’s joy is joy to me,
Each one’s grief is my own.

We need one another
So I will defend
Each one as my sister
Each one as my friend.

Campfire at Girl Guide summer camp was one of my favourite activities.  Not that my singing voice was very melodious but I could always remember the words and was adept at building the campfire itself. Both things still true! The above lyrics originated in the work of John Donne, the English poet and cleric(1572-1631) and were adapted to the gender then seated cross-legged around the fire pit. They reflected our immediate company and encouraged deeper thought about the connectedness of the world.  This was, and remains, an important teaching within the Scouting/Guiding movement. 

The Church, with all her divisions, corruptions and weaknesses throughout history, speaks boldly of being the Body of Christ. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…”1 Corinthians 12:12 We rejoice in being members of that Body!

But we have discovered, through the years, that the phrase ‘God’s beloved children’ is far more inclusive than our earlier theology ever dreamed.  We are learning to ‘draw the circle wide’. Once upon a time, ecumenism was a huge step but now, though indeed we hold fast to our faith in Jesus, the way, the truth and the life, we acknowledge that the spiritual journey with the Holy One is not limited to the Christian experience. Even writing that sentence seems odd.  How could we believe that God belonged only to one group of human beings?  If this virus, which is no respecter of wealth, or age, religion, position or life circumstance,  has taught us nothing else, it is that we are in this together, both globally and in our own neighbourhoods.  

“It’s a small world after all…”