I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
The psalmist’s optimism is not misplaced as long as we make the connection between the love which God has for everyone and our need to express it to others. Without this essential piece of theological connectivity we will wait around wondering why God hasn’t showed up yet. So Lent is a good time to ponder how we might set about repairing our lost connexity.
Connexity is an apt word: it means close interconnectedness, interrelatedness and interdependence, all key descriptors at the heart of our Methodist identity as a ‘Connexion’. It points us to the inescapable truism that Christian Faith must always be grounded and earthed in the pressing needs of community and society if it is to be authentic. By definition there can be no such entity as a disconnected church. If it isn’t connected it isn’t church.
So how are we in Britain challenged by the following stark statement which betrays a lost connexity at the very heart of our society?
1,000,000 people have no-one to turn to and no-one who appreciates them.
Psychological needs have become as pressing as material ones: the risk of loneliness and isolation; the risk of mental illness; the risk of being left behind. New solutions are needed to help the many people struggling with transitions out of care, prison or family breakdown, and to equip people with the resilience they’ll need to get by in uncertain times.
Society’s ability to meet people’s psychological and psycho-social needs appears to have declined. The buffers of religion and family that helped people cope with setbacks have weakened…Some of the shock absorbers – from faith to family – that helped us cope in the past have atrophied.
Extracts taken from ‘Sinking & Swimming: Understanding Britain’s Unmet Needs’
Traditionally during Lent we seek to reconnect with God. And all the while God is longing for us to connect with the hurting, lonely, sad and struggling ones in our midst. As we ponder the life of Jesus it should come as no surprise to us that the best way to make connections with God is to set about repairing our lost connexity with those whom God loves. Then the goodness of the Lord really will be known in the land of the living.
(Geoff Mulgan, Director of the Young Foundation, memorably deployed the word ‘Connexity’ in his book of the same title.)