Back to top

Keith Simmonds's blog

You gotta serve somebody

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

Bob Dylan's song rings a chord with me. There is truth in his observation that, no matter who we are, or where we are, or how we justify ourselves in our view of what we do, we all serve somebody. There's no getting around it. If we're livin', we're servin'


One of the people I grew up with re-connected with me on Facebook recently. He has the odd issue with religion. Responding to an article about a Good Friday procession, he wondered what 'foolery' might come next. I commented about singing, dancing and celebrating on the mountain side in Rossland on Easter morning. He wrote back about the delusion of the resurrection.

Good Friday?

Having just read Diana Butler Bass' new book Christianity After Religion--a thoughtful and thought-provoking read--and being in the midst of planning for Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, I am left to ponder what the post-Christian generation might think about Good Friday.

In the book we learn that many people in our age are cross border shopping in faith traditions, taking what they need to supplement their personal experiences of the Divine.

Jesus clears the temple

Here you'll find the image our kids gave me a few years ago. It occupies a central place in my office. The kids do not attend church; describe themselves as generally agnostic; have caused me to wonder about my hypocrisy as only teenagers could; and have generally shown a distrust of the church and its teachings that is typical of our society today.

And yet. And yet. They gave me this image. Jesus clears the temple.

When the helpers are in need of help

Do you think – do you suppose it's possible – that we might have become a little full of our selves? It's an interesting expression, one I would say (having been reading a lot of Lemony Snicket with my son lately) that here means being so wrapped up in our own world view and circumstance that there is little or no room for anything else.

Do you think –might it be possible –that we could benefit from the insights and observations of people who are not so consumed by our view of the world as we are?

COMMENT: What Occupies our time? What Occupies our thoughts?

Have you noticed that engagement in community activities is becoming a rare and less frequently observed reality of everyday life? While the demise of voluntary organizations and the advancing average age of the remaining volunteers seems a clear and present reality in almost every walk of life, nowhere does it seem so evident as in our engagement in the body politic. As vital as the decision making processes of government are to every aspect of life and living, modern folk seem unwilling to take the time to even cast a ballot, let alone participate in public discourse.

The art of 'holding space'

I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop called the Art of Hosting early last week. During our time together some 38 people learned a bit more about holding space in community. About ways of holding space that invite others into speech, participation and connection; creates conditions by which understanding, common purpose and shared desires might find life out of individual passions, capable champions and thoughtful conversations.

COMMENT: What is my world?

I am not sure how it is for you, but for me, truth is not so much in seeing, but in questioning.

If I should see someone on the corner, or in the doorway, looking for help with something, and my question is: “I wonder what he did, or did not do, to end up like that?" then I have created a truth about my world and how I see it. I have created a truth about my world and how it sees me.

Subscribe to RSS - Keith Simmonds's blog