Over the last few weeks we have been asking- what does it mean to live as resurrection people? I’ve been enjoying our reading of Philippians as we wrestle with faith and life together.
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…”
Feminist theologian Janet Martin Soskice writes beautifully of parenting as an image of what living into the Christ hymn of Philippians 2 might look like. (It’s an apt image for us as we celebrate and prepare for new children to be joined to the Hope Uniting community.) Parenting means paying attention. The repetitive, ‘ordinary’ tasks of care for someone else are patterned by grace. As they receive attention, children grow into a sense of identity. As they offer attention, parents also experience change. In disciplined humility, over time, parents are “unselved” as they make space for the child.
Soskice suggests that in the same way, God’s loving prix cialis one day attention is directed towards creation. God’s loving attention is directed to each thing in its own particularity, calling it to identity and to grace. The intentional and patient attention we see offered by a loving parent might also be offered towards an elderly family member in need of care, towards a housemate stressed out by exams in need of a calm non-anxious presence, towards an asylum seeker in need of hope, towards someone who is experiencing depression in need of a friend. This intentional and patient attention might be offered by a congregation towards a wider community through means of a garden.
Paying attention is slow. It is disciplined and patient- not always characteristics that come easily or that are valued in our dominant culture. It is slow, time-consuming, sometimes mundane or boring, but it inchoately graced. It takes patience to grow a garden, and to nurture the life within it- the same patience it takes to nurture a community and to learn how to love those outside of ourselves. Christ Jesus chose to step fully into sharing our humanity- eating, laughing, feeding, healing, teaching, praying, sharing with his friends and with those he encountered. How will we do likewise?