Last week we started our Adult Forums at 10 am in between worship services. The first gathering was Part II of a Question and Answer session that first happened just after I started serving at Holy Apostles. This time the group was smaller; some people had attended the previous session, some were asking me questions for the first time.
In my narrative and my responses to questions I was incorporating the word “we.” As in, “We did this,” or “We are hoping to do that.” And toward the end of the time, someone said, “You keep talking about ‘we.’ I’m just wondering, who is ‘we?’ How do you define that?”
It was an excellent question, and one that has resonated with me since. At the time it was asked we were just minutes away from finishing the group conversation and moving into worship. My short answer in the moment was, “We is wherever you and I and any of us locate ourselves in this community. It is defined by commitment and common passion.”
That might be an adequate response, but it is not comprehensive. I have thought a lot about this question since it was asked and I think the most life-encouraging definition of “we” has less to do with activity and personal identification and more to do with what Jesus talks about when He talks about love. Jesus is clear that our identity rests in being God’s beloved, and in loving others actively and sacrificially.
The details of how this happens in each of our lives evolve and change as we do. We certainly have many opportunities to engage activities here at Holy Apostles that encourage deep connections to others. We gather at the altar to share in God’s love given so freely in Jesus Christ. Any details defining our hopes or describing what we do emerge from that fundamental experience. We are beloved, and so we love. That definition is broad and general. And it includes everyone.