2 Sam 11:26 // Ephesians 4: 1-16 // John 6: 24-35

Today we explored our emotional responses as a people in a collective-community. We are born into the community of our family where we learn among other things the expression of gratitude or the withholding of it which can wound us for life. We often have collective emotional responses to world events such as the children trapped in the cave in Thailand. We have both personal families and world families.

Many families were large. It was not uncommon to have a family of almost 30 people  which soon expanded as the older children began their families. It was community.

Church is a place beyond the family where we learned about God's love for us and to express love of each other. Today our real situation is quite changed from 40 years ago.

The technological revolution of which we still are a part has changed community. Today, we have isolation and loneliness as a norm. We move into cities and not know our neighbour, have one to one iPhone contact and become afraid of strangers. It is this fear which allows us to be used and manipulated to have fear of others. We are losing personal interaction.

Emotionally, we do not need to be afraid. God loves us and we are lovable. We need mutual care and respect. We need to meet our neighbour so we are not afraid of the unknown and easily manipulated. We need remember that Jesus was a refugee as his parents fled to Egypt when He was an infant. We are people of the land which God gives to all of us. Greet our neighbours, shake their hands, express warmness and open caring. We are one planet, one people with one God.

Our need today is to vigorously fight racism and our collective emotional collective unknown fear which often masquerades as Nationalism and Patriotism. These masks really allow a select few to feel special and all the others are excluded. This is not Jesus way. This is not a community of love.

"Kama muta" an African expression should be our vision as we express gratitude. It means: moved by love- a sign of real gratitude. Let this be our guiding vision in 2018.