In our advanced and sophisticated society, where connection can happen at the click of a button, why is loneliness and isolation such a social problem in much of our western world? The days of agrarian life were sacrificed long ago on the altar of city dwelling in the name of progress and the dream of ‘making a life for ourselves.’ Our villages that once helped us raise our children for example are now found only in small pockets of our western culture. Wikipedia, freely available as our wise guide tries to answer our questions for us, yet we still are left floundering without anchors. 

There’s actually no point in harkening back to the ‘good ol’ days’ because they had their problems as well, and this is the day and time we live in. What we need to do is find our way to wisdom’s way of living, taking notice of our past and leaning into our future. 

When I read the story of the birth of the Church of Jesus in the book of Acts [1] I find attributes present within that community that are still relevant today, especially as we consider the purpose of a faith community in the context of kotahitanga, solidarity. Here they were, these early people of ‘the Way’ (the name Christian hadn’t yet emerged), found together unified around this common good; sharing life, singing, eating, praying and serving their community together.

One of the most poignant things about this community was that they also found favour with the people around them. Now this is interesting because in our current culture it seems to me (just an observation) that Christianity isn’t top of the pops. In fact some of the things that are (still) done in the name of Christianity are disturbing to say the least. I don’t see people flocking into the doors of the Church because they are seeing a portrayal of a life that they just can’t live without! 

So I propose that we simplify, we get back to the basics, that we embrace these beautiful ways of being together that can build us up as humans, that can dispense for moments with the complexities involved that are supposed to connect us, and just be together. Our moments together may be few, but they can be rich, and maybe as we tap into some of the goodness of God we will become the best versions of ourselves, image bearers. Not only will we be anchored at peace and happy to be alive, those around us who are watching might be interested in becoming (not Christians by name), but image bearers of Christ also.That sounds attractive to me.

 Let’s consider Kotahitanga. 

Linda Burson Swift

[1]Acts 2

SolidarityClint Gibson