Our College theme for 2021 is ‘Created in God’s Image’.
There’s something special about watching unfamiliar children interact for the first time in a playground. It seems as though there is no criteria, discernment or process. The unnecessary unspoken dialogue goes something like this, ‘you’re a kid and I’m a kid - let’s play!’ And all of a sudden there’s an exchange of a wry smile, someone is tagged, ‘ you’re it’ and the fun begins.
What does all this have to do with our theme for 2021? What I’ve described is a moment of encounter, two young hearts and minds coming together with a shared understanding of how it should be - and so it is. It’s that simple. God is that simple.
As we continue to navigate life in the midst of a global pandemic we are reminded about the complexity of life and it’s many social, political, and environmental issues. One of my hopes for 2021 is that we might all experience moments of encounter that remind us of the simplicity of life. Scholars have the ability to write pages and pages on theological concepts, but I believe that we can learn just as much from the words and actions of the children that we witness daily in the playground. St Augustine’s is a wonderful place to explore this theme. We have lots of wonderful children and a wonderful playground.
‘Created in God’s Image’ is a theme that I hope will raise many questions about God for our community. It is good to ask questions and it is good to ask questions that have no apparent answer. Part of our faith is about becoming comfortable with mystery. Throughout the year we will ask our community to consider Who is God for you? What do you think God is like? Where did you see God today? Sometimes it can be tricky to talk about God because we can’t seem to find the words, but it is really important to try. God never abandons those who doubt or ask questions in their search for meaning.
God has given us the most wonderful gift, the gift of our own sacred life. Each one of us is a special expression of what God is like. God loves us all so much that he sent his son Jesus, to live among the people to teach them about God. Sometimes when we are writing our teachers say ‘Show, don’t tell!’ God is a great teacher, because he sent his son Jesus to show us how to live. This is why reading and interpreting the scriptures is still so important and relevant today. In the Gospels we find stories of Jesus fighting for justice, loving tenderly and forgiving mercifully. We have a lot to learn from his example.
As we lose our childhood innocence and get older we find it harder to join in and accept others in the playground of life. As we reflect on the sacredness of our own life this year, I hope that this theme inspires us to become people who think carefully about the words we choose, the decisions we make and the relationships we have with others. When we are being our best we are a beautiful expression of what God is like.