It might be easy to overlook an important word in our new name: that we are the Community of the Eighth Day expresses an important part of our identity and our purpose. As we search for perspectives on life which reflect both God’s activity in our present context, and the human search for a relevant spirituality, it might be easy to consider this an individualistic pursuit. It could well be argued that an individualistic approach has created the present dilemma.
In the context of creation, the individual has always been defined in context of community. On the eighth day after creation, Adam and Eve together were required to grapple with the decisions and dilemmas life thrust upon them. On the Eighth Day of Holy Week, it was Jesus’ disciples who were left to collectively ponder the implications. The words of Genesis 2 “it is not good for a human to be alone” were not a prelude to the concept of marriage, but to community, in the realisation that it was in relationship that creation was to be enjoyed.
One of the consequences of the increasing pressure to live 24/7 lifestyles has been an increasing sense of individual isolation - from one’s unique sense of person, as well as from family, friends and wider circle of humanity. To intentionally seek to be community in this era may well be as radical an activity as the concept of Eighth Day. By expressing our identity and purpose in terms of community is to commit ourselves to being human: to hearing one another and sharing together for a greater purpose.
The need to explore afresh what it means to be community is an important part of our journey. The tensions between global and local community; between care for humanity and environment; and between past, present and future are all important components in our shared journey.
The journey from the present into the future presents some creative and challenging opportunities, ones which will be better grasped as we share them together, as we seek to be The Community of the Eighth Day.
October 19, 2003