Sunday 11 November 2012
As shadows lengthen and as the temperature drops, it can be a great pleasure to lose yourself in a good story. Without having to exert much more energy than it takes to turn a page, you can encounter innumerable people who can broaden your horizons and challenge your ideas.
Losing ourselves in someone else’s story can be a helpful, sometimes inspiring, way of escaping our own. Sometimes our stories are shot through with pain and suffering; at other times they overflow with great joy. More often than not, they are simultaneously a mixture of the two, blending the threads of pain and joy into the uniquely beautiful tapestry of our lives.
But someone else’s story can only ever be a temporary escape from the realities of our own. We need to live our own stories, and that living involves risk, and sometimes that risk demands more of us than we initially feel prepared to share. Today we remember those who fought and died in the World Wars and more recent conflicts, giving thanks for their lives and contemplating their sacrifice. We also celebrate our patronal festival: our church is dedicated to a saint who shared his cloak with a man in need, who was later revealed to him as Christ.
Like Martin, we are each called to go out into the day, to live the life God has given us, responding to the needs of those we see around us. Just as Christ called the first disciples, we are called to join in, to participate in God’s work in our own lives and those of others. This is the work of community: I cannot tell my story without you, nor can you without me.
So, what part of God’s story shall we tell next?