I am starting something new today: a Monday Morning Memo. “Memo” doesn’t seem to be the right word, but it will do for now. At the beginning of the year, I set some personal goals and writing more regularly was one of them. Creating structure like writing on Monday mornings will help me, I hope, form this new habit. Topics will vary in content and length, but they’ll be what I’m thinking about that particular Monday morning. More likely than not, they will have a theological bent. So here goes…something!
Today I am thinking a lot about friendship and the gift of community.
Last week was just what I needed: lots of time spent with lots of good friends. Chili, cornbread, and pumpkin cupcakes with one. Conversations over cups of coffee and Facetime reunions with others. More chili with more friends followed by heart-to-heart sharings round a fire pit. It was a wonderful week that arrived at just the right time.
Fall seems to invite such gatherings, especially here in the Midwest where we get to experience the fullness each season offers. When the Autumn air begins to nuzzle its way in, fire pits, chili pots, cornbreads, and pumpkin-flavored sugary treats are quick to follow. So too are gatherings with friends. Something about the food and colder weather seems to draw us back together from summers spent out and about.
I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for community.
One of my “core beliefs” is that no one should go through life alone. Put in the positive: everyone should have friends; everyone should have a community.
I believe this because I am a Christian. I believe this because I believe in the God who is the “Blessed Trinity” – God “in three Persons” – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God as such is inherently relational. Who God is, is relationship.
The Story goes that this God created humanity in God’s own “image and likeness.” And if God is indeed Relationship, then we too are creatures created for friendships and communities.
I trust that this is true. And I feel that this is true.
Life is just better when lived with others. Laughter is louder. Joy is deeper. Burdens are shared. Loneliness and isolation abated.
I feel it gathered round fire pits and taste it in pumpkin cupcakes. I feel it in the good times, and I feel it in the bad. I carry with me lost friendships. I feel the missing presence of my deceased grandfather. I am a relational being.
No one should ever have to live life alone. Everyone should have friends. Everyone should have community.
An old icon, or depiction of God, created by Andrei Rublev shows the Blessed Trinity gathered round a four-sided table. The open side is front and center. The Divine Persons to the right and left are opened out to the viewer. There is this sense, this feeling, this truth that God is inviting us to be part of the Divine Community. It’s an invitation that is extended to us all: to risk relationship.
Something for me to continue thinking (and living) more deeply about…
Grace and peace,