We are not human without community

Photo: Geoff Howe
Published September 16, 2019

Many events and ideas that swirl around us in these days are a great challenge to life. Our time contains a compelling call to revisit, as individuals and as peoples, that most basic question: what does it mean to be human?

Technological advances are a part of this re-thinking. A growing gap between rich and poor, a rapidly changing climate and a degrading ecology are perhaps an even greater portion of what confronts us. We are being urged to look at cultural assumptions and practices with renewed eyes. As with every age, we need to affirm, in our own context, what it is to be human.

The ecological and human crisis that faces us today is a striking and urgent part of our context. Through this crisis we are relearning three related and essential ideas:

One: Community is an essential part of what it means to be human. We are not human without community.

Two: This community not only includes the rest of humanity—it also includes the rest of creation. We are not human without the rest of creation.

Three: The life of community is sustained by sharing. We are not human without sharing.

Jesus prophetically unveils and brings to life these truths of our existence in that ceremony he gave us, the Holy Eucharist. In Eucharist, we see our humanity revealed in a community of compassion, in a communion of creation and in a way of life that is sharing. Our ancient pattern of worship calls us to live a life of renewed humanity in the face of the many challenges that accompany these days and this time. In Jesus’ death and resurrection, so vividly experienced in Eucharist, we see this renewed humanity and community of creation as our calling and destiny. In this moment and movement God meets us.

Let us rise up, let us be raised to meet God and to meet our true selves, our true humanity.


  • Mark MacDonald

    Mark MacDonald was national Indigenous Anglican bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada from 2007 to 2019, and national Indigenous Anglican archbishop from 2019 to 2022.

Related Posts

Skip to content