Last week there was a call to abolish solitary confinement in US prisons, at least for under aged prisoners. Solitary confinement is a very grim kind of isolation, soul destroying
The Dutch artist Heironymus Bosch (d. 1516) is remembered in part for depictions of hell. Solitary confinement should be abolished, because solitary confinement is indeed a kind of torture or hell.
Another person remembered this year is Cervantes, the famous writer of the book (published in 1605) Don Quixote which has been called one of the greatest novels ever written at least in the West. Quixote journeys with the earthy farmer Sancho Panza to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and restore justice. The partnership between Quixote and Sancho Panza is a beautiful description of partnership and companionship – a reaching out for community, which is the very opposite of solitary confinement.
The parade today in Millville is a celebration of community as well: the community of this town.
Our readings today describe the community that there is in the Godhead between Father, Son And Holy Spirit. Jesus identity with the Father is reflected in his love of and obedience to the Father. Their unity recalls the prologue of John’s gospel, and the unity between the Shekinah (the glory) and the Memra (the word).
The Holy Spirit inspires the followers of Jesus to remember everything Jesus said, and to preach and teach to word to the world. In the reading from Acts, we see the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of Lydia of Thyatira. In the Revelation reading we see the community of the believers with the Triune Godhead in the New Jerusalem, where everyone is healed by the leaves of the trees of life and the living water.
So each of us should remember that we are not alone: but rather, deepen our conversation and community with God in the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the Son Jesus Christ.