Why are you here?
I can tell you it’s a question I ask when it comes to awards, being recipient thereof. No fuss please. Just let me get on with doing the mahi.
And yet we’re here. Those being recognised, good on you. Those in support, good on you for being here and for your support.
We’re here also to take a moment too to reaffirm what we’re on about together, together as St John.
For the real question is: what motivated you, what motivated us, to get involved in the first place? And what motivates you to keep being involved?
Perhaps something happened to you …
Perhaps somebody asked you …
What was it that had you take the step to sign up? Think about it for a moment and recall what you were thinking, what pulled you in. And what you expected to come from it.
St John the Baptist – the crazy man out in the wilderness eating locusts and wild honey – is our eponymous ancestor. You could say he’s the forerunner in everything we’re on about. A person who was totally on the fringe and yet people knew he was onto something.
Dis-ease, dis-satisfaction, or at the worst despair, then and now, has us humans searching for a turn around. In their situation of poverty and suffering under the brutal regime of Rome, this character in the backblocks is offering a means to do something under the broad goal of wellness.
The first Knights Hospitallers in 11th and 12th century Palestine were on that kind of mission. Care of the poor and sick of any faith – note well that last bit “of any faith” – doing their bit into help them recover and get on with their lives.
John the Baptist, and this tradition that follows, is always pointing forward, wellness being a journey for people that’s ongoing, always a journey, always a work in progress. John’s advice in looking forward, was to watch for Jesus as with his way, with his shape of living, they’d know the whole story of the best life can be.
For every human contact we have, in all branches of St John, there’s an interaction that’s feeding in to the future. I think that is what motivates us. We’re not here to be superwoman/superman, solving problems for others who do nothing themselves. We do our bit. We encourage – give courage through our contact, our interaction.
Yes, we are in the business of interaction: inter-action, not taking charge, not taking over, not being do-gooders.
Now about do-gooders. It’s been said that you can tell who the do-gooders are by the hunted look in those they’re doing good for.
We receive as much as we give. That’s interaction and every aspect of St John seems to me to be like that. Giving and receiving – reciprocal benefit under the board goal of wellness.
That’s the very foundation of St John, the Christ-shaped foundation. I believe it’s the Spirit we all share, whatever our faith.