I recently listened to a Radio 4 “In Our Time” podcast on the topic of parasites. One of the speakers put forward the hypothesis that our ape like ancestors first came together 20 million years ago in order to pick ticks and flees of each other; it’s easier than doing it ourselves (though each to their own). And then in Gen 2:18 “God said ‘it is not good for the man to be alone’” further confirmation that we evolved or are created to be social creatures. So no wonder so many us are struggling to be on our own. What is happening to us now, when we need to be anti-social beings?
I wonder whether in our current social order we have lost the sense of balance between community and individualism, were the needs of the individual have set a strong precedence over the needs of others. That we can respond to our individual desires only because we live in a society which requires complex interactions of many, many people. But the minute we can no longer engage with these social complex interactions we struggle because we live in societies that are far too big.
I know that as a disciple of Christ I am both called as an individual to commit and to follow, but also to be part of a community of faith. That without that community, at times, I would flounder. Certainly in the last couple of years I would have floundered if not for the love and support of flowers, meals and prayers from the Circuit. Maybe the message from Covid is not why has God sent it or allowed it to happen, but in what way should we learn to live in a different way, with a better balance between the needs of the individual and the need to live in community.
Prayer: Son of Man, you called us to follow you. Help us to see how to respond to your call as individuals working in with each other. Help us, help each other stave off the ticks and flees of this world.