My previous post about what Pagan community looks like got me thinking about community and community building in general. To me, community building is in itself a spiritual discipline. The meal after a ritual is as important as the ritual itself. The regular covered dish dinners (one of the things I think the Baptist church I grew up in got right) are as important as the Sunday morning worship service. In fact, the charismatic church I attended my senior year in college understood this so much that they started having covered dish lunches every Sunday afternoon after the service!
From a Pagan perspective, each individual contains a spark of the Divine in their being. Perhaps some traditions don’t express it in exactly those words, but I think it’s universally (or nearly so) expressed in one way or another. For example, the Norse traditions hold to the idea that humans are descended from the gods. (How literally or symbolically this should be taken may be debated, but it’s there.) So there’s that sense of Divine origin and connection.
When I consider human relationships while holding this perspective in mind, even the simplest interactions become profound. Each time I laugh with a friend, share in his joy, or help dry her tears, the divine spark in me is reaching out and connecting with the divine spark in the other. In that moment, we are recognizing each other’s sacredness. A shared meal becomes a moment that strengthens our spiritual connection. And such connections should be strengthened, as they promote growth, both individually and collectively.