For Valentine’s this year I got Megan the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice – which is nearly six hours long. Adding to the romance of the gift I promised to sit down and watch it with her. So with popcorn and Junior Mints, I finally realized how someone was able to come up with the idea for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…
Seriously, the movie was not that bad. It helps when you keep the expectations low. And with three girls, I found myself relating to the father – really hoping to be as sarcastic. Now if I can just keep Meg from becoming the mom… (Please do not tell her I wrote that – she is nothing like the mom!)
“Success as a town was not dependent on the town’s geography, history, economic base, cultural inheritance, or financial resources.” ~ Community by Peter Block (Refering to Robert Putnam)
All around us, birds are chirping and trees budding, the mild Winter is being replaced by Spring. The travel of the seasons are ordered and logical. The calendar brings them forward. But what brings community to life?
The cycle of church can move just like the seasons. Springing to life and growth. But this tapers off to seasons that slip into dormancy. And a church does not have the groundhog to determine how long the winter will last. Instead a church can remain dormant until the end. So what brings Spring to the church? To any community?
“His findings were startling, for he discovered that the one thing that distinguished the more successful from the less successful towns was the extent of social capital… Community well-being simply had to do with the quality of relationships, the cohesion that exists among the citizens.” ~ Block
Spring does not come with a clever event. Spring does not rise with a gifted leader. Numbers and dollars can be a part of Spring bursting forth – but they do not bring Spring. Nor do they prevent the Fall and Winter. Instead the seasons of our church community change on relationship.
As we grow more cohesive, our church will find more life. But division leads to the season of hibernation. Which is very simple and logical. An answer we could all discern. But it is funny how the simple things – by their very smallness – are not implemented. They are not stressed. Maybe this is because by themselves they do not create noticeable change? One person’s actions, either kind or harsh, does not change the seasons. So each moment can fell like no big deal. A “what does it matter?” moment.
But in this manner a church will slowly become docile. Then dormant.
“He warns that our stock of social capital – the very fabric of our connections with each other – has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities.” – Block
The appeal of Pride and Prejudice surprises me. The story is not so complicated, and yet, what girl does not swoon when Mr. Darcy strides across the field for Elizabeth (this is actually a reference to the more modern movie – my P&P knowledge runs deep). And why do they swoon? Though Darcy is rejected. Though he is rebuffed he continues to love. His actions reach for her – come what may.
And in this we find what it means to bring seasons of change. A life that will sacrifice for another. Not that we must chase down Wickham, but maybe we just sit down and watch what the other person wants… And in service the movement begins. As one gift leads to another to another – community springs forth.
Just as Meg started to watch the 1985 World Series with me…