Friday, 26 June 2009

No One Is An Island (Part 1)

"No one is an island, entire of itself,; everyone is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." (John Donne, with slight changes.)

When I worked in the city in a ministry with people on the street I was shocked to discover the underbelly of the city, and the way in which people can be so invisible to those living 'ordinary lives'. We might catch a glimpse occasionally when a homeless person is keeled over on the pavement, but the rest of the time we go about our lives unaware of what is happening below the surface. We are a bit like this generally, like islands floating around, more aware of what we think and feel than of those around us.

Jesus didn't play by these rules. He broke through the gap that ordinarily exists. He did this through his ministry with the excluded in particular. And his genuine relational humanity encouraged others to swim across the sea separating them from him. (Mk 6:21-43) In his relationship with God Jesus is also no island, but fully intimate with the Father. In this relational humanity Jesus shows us the nature of God, not an island, alone and separate, but a God of mutual intimacy.

Are we really aware of the people around us beyond the small circle of intimates? Is the way we are human encourage others to swim the sea between islands?

For a sermon here is a great, short video, and you could also use this snippet from About a Boy on tips for island living.

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