As we sat in a recent Zoom call, each of us in turn spoke of the challenges of apathy in the fragmented times in which we find ourselves. Why has this apparent apathy grown?
Part of the blame lies at the feet of institutions – churches included – that failed to seed and nurture connections and mutual care. Part of the blame as well lies within us. We must face the, at times, uncomfortable truth that we live in the world we have created.
David Brooks phrases it well.
Being part of a community takes time and involves restrictions. Merely having an identity does not. In our cultural emphasis and life, we’ve gone from a community focus to an identity focus.
It is not to say that identity is bad. Obviously, identity matters a great deal given that God forms all of us around an empowered, unique identity, one with gifts to give. But, individual identity overplayed creates a certain apathy around the more arduous work of building community. Restated, why try to build when instead we can just be?
There is no Christianity, however, without community. Ours is a relational faith, grounded in a unique blend of private salvation (identity) and public salvation (community).
This feels important to say. Community takes work. Thank you for being part of that endeavor. And helping us move forward.