If one picture is worth ten thousand words; then, what is this picture saying here? The three question marks are not these ‘ten thousand words’ but are three words that summarise and remind us of who we are and what it means to be followers of Jesus today.
What I would like you to do is to ponder the content of each word given below and then find the word that resonates best with you. The goal of this is to find the words that animate and inspire us the most as a church and will come to mind, when we see the picture, not only as a reminder but also a prompt for us all to live it out.
Words are as powerful as pictures too. They connect deeply with our hearts, our minds and our souls for either lasting good; or sadly for harm. Words though aren’t constant. As generations, cultures and societies in which they are set change so does their meaning and how they resonate.
To help you understand what I’m trying to say let me give you an example. The first word is ‘Family’ and its content we talked about at the church meeting was “A community that is shaped and moulded by love and trust; where we are welcomed and accepted as we are; where though sometimes dysfunctional yet we are committed to each other.” Is the word ‘Family’ the best one, or is there another we can use?
The content of the second word is “A community that is serious about its faith; is serious about how this faith is lived out in our daily lives; works hard in living out this faith in a world that doesn’t understand this faith and may even be hostile to it.” What word would you choose for this?
The content of the third word is “A community that has a web of rules for behaviour that includes appropriate rewards and sanctions; that has a Constitution, financial systems and regulations; that emphasises the needs of the community over that of the individual.” What word would you choose for this?
When we as a leadership discussed the picture and the words the possibility of Relationships, Religion and Rules was suggested. Though I like the alliteration, I’m not sure all of these words work equally well. So what words work well for you; as they may well be words that work well for us all.