When the Regional recommended the TV Series on Jesus “The Chosen” as a good pastime to members during lockdown a few years ago, it sounded daft and strange. But when, in the just-ended Assembly, the same Regional led the Recollection on seeing our lives and our Society/Membership in the light of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, or Jonah running away and angry, or Zacchaeus short and crude, or the woman with the haemorrhage; all seeking, needing, craving, desperate for change; it was nearly glorious to wander in wonder about who in the Room, in the Region or in the Society was the Chosen, as in the TV Series characters; young or old, energetic or fragile, aimless or purposeful – in much the same way as the discovered mental adventure of knowing and determining personality types in the Enneagram. It can be fun to look around and see who is like Peter or Andrew or John or Philip or James or Matthew; or Cleophas and companion or Zachaeus or Jonah or the haemorrhaging woman and deniably so! The nuisance of the character and the potentiality of becoming a disciple, an apostle, a martyr, a saint is nearly irreconcilable.
The Chosen are “called to change”, in the words of the Regional, “external and internal change, called to be signs of contradiction” as individuals and as a Society, through prayer and through interaction with one another. For, are we (even though infinitely talented, dedicated, interesting, imaginative, good etc), not equally, often, sometimes or all the time weak, annoying, anaemic, demonized, depressed, isolated, self-conscious, hopeless, like the characters already mentioned?
Our coming together for the Three Days Assembly helped us refresh, renew, reencounter one another and Christ in prayer, listening to Chapter and post-Chapter reports; in the inescapable Safeguarding updates and way forward, in the work of Missio and Mission Appeals and in daring to hope for renewed vigour for the British Region, the British Membership and the British Mission – the Chosen Assembly – hoping (against hope) for change, for life, for Mission.
Emmanuel Mbeh, May 2023.