John 15: 18-27

I dare say that most of you have heard the expression: Within the world but not of the world.  It’s an expression that is frequently used in connection with Christian life and practice, and signifies an approach to faith in which Christians act in the world without being part of the world’s prerogatives or agendas. Continue reading “John 15: 18-27”

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John 14:15-31

In France, they have a saying: Communities begin by building their kitchen.

Anyone who has seen the French film Chocolat will understand the meaning of this proverb.  It is the story of a small French village, whose inhabitants are forced to live dull, strictly conformist lives by an authoritarian Mayor whose own need for obedience is but a mask for his deeply felt suffering.  And into this rigid, sterile setting comes a stranger, a single mother who opens a chocolate store in the village’s main square.  But this stranger doesn’t just sell chocolate; she makes the chocolate she sells, bending all her craft and skill and love into the creation of extraordinary confectionary.  And so delightful are her chocolate creations that the villagers suddenly discover life: life in all its rich, joyous, absurdly abundant wonder.  And it is through this discovery that the villagers break free of the chains they have cast around themselves; even the Mayor is liberated from the grip of pain, from the need to cover up and pretend that all is well, and comes to understand that beyond suffering lies the possibility of hope. Continue reading “John 14:15-31”