Pastor Bert this past Sunday challenged us with a discussion on exploring community through… typography? Yes, the art and techniques associated with fonts. (If you missed the sermon, it is worth listening to and going through his deck of slides.) He explained how fonts can be beautiful and not so beautiful, letters in different orientations have different meanings, and words come together to form meanings. This, of course was a sermon-long analogy for community and the obstacles that prevent God’s work in and through community.
I began to ask myself what within myself can form a deep obstacle for the communities I am a part of. I realised that oftentimes, our greatest contributions can quickly become our greatest hindrances. For example, I know for myself there are many things in which I find myself to be very confident. But this confidence, has the risk of nurturing arrogance. Or for others I know, a great strength can be humility — not looking highly of oneself. But if not appropriately lived, humility becomes self-pity. Both of these words (“confidence” and “humility”), can stunt the growth of us as individuals and us as a community. They incapacitate us. We are unable to flourish when we drive so hard towards one extreme or another. As Pastor Bert ended his sermon discussing the march around Jericho, we recognise that the drive cannot come from us but from God. Practically speaking, this is hard because we live in the material world and have a hard time seeing and living, spiritually-minded. We are to bring heaven onto earth — pray and ask that God teach us how to live with the passion for “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Whatever we do, whatever we make, whatever we desire must be written by Him. Only then can our lives have the meanings that God intended, individually and corporately.