Any community won’t do..

Last Wednesday I had dinner in the Long Room of the MCC at Lord’s cricket ground in St John’s Wood.

Sounds pretty swanky, don’t you think? And it was.

Lucky me, you might also think. And I guess I am. Not many people get into this very exclusive club and I also got to meet Carson! (That’s Jim Carter, who plays the head butler in Downton Abbey - for any DA ingénues out there.)

To get to the evening I had to give up my usual Wednesday evening thing – which is Bible Reading Group. And, although I had a perfectly pleasant time, I have to say I would have probably had more fun eating Doritos at BRG.

I guess that sounds somewhat ungracious. But the thing is that everyone (bar me) at the Lord’s dinner was an absolute cricketing aficionado. The whole purpose of the dinner was for members to judge who’d written the best cricket book over the last year. (My husband was one of the nominees – hence me being invited to tag along!)

The truth is I simply didn't fit in. I couldn’t hold my own. I could ask Carson why he’d given Mrs Hughes such a hard time after their marriage - but I had absolutely nothing to add to the debate on the merits of Aubrey Smith’s oddly curved bowling run up – over 100 years ago - which earned him the nickname ‘Round the Corner’ Smith.

Being in community is essential to our wellbeing. And brings enormous joy.

Put me among the home crowd at the Emirates Stadium and, although needing to be selectively deaf to the dreadful swearing, I am in my element. Get me discussing green juice recipes with fellow vegans online, and I have plenty to say. Or, of course, ask me to talk about Jesus and the Church with people who are really interested and it’s hard to shut me up at all.

When we are passionate about something it’s great to connect with others who are passionate about the same thing too. Even though we may not always agree.

I happen to think it is time for the almighty Arsene Wenger to announce a plan for his departure. Others disagree. But we all love Arsenal FC and want the team to flourish.

I happen to love a big chunk of ginger in my green juice – whatever else goes in. Others cannot stand the stuff. But we all think drinking green juice is a great way to start the day and to keep colds at bay.

I happen to believe that God has and is calling women (as well as men) to be priests and bishops in his Church. Others disagree. But we all have faith in Jesus Christ and consider this faith to be the most precious thing we possess.

If we want to explore something more deeply – like faith – let’s do it together. Let’s find others who have a similar passion. These might be people we meet by going to a local church. They might be people we engage with online. My private Facebook group – MO Community – is there for this purpose. So do subscribe here to receive regular emails that will help to motivate you on your journey of faith and to be invited to join the Facebook group.

Posted by Martine Oborne