Soren Kierkegaard, the famous Danish Christian philosopher, grew up in the countryside surrounded by farms that raised geese (among other animals). Each spring he would watch as a new gaggle of goslings was hatched and began to be fattened for the table. Over the course of their short lives these geese would gorge themselves at constantly refilled troughs of grain until they were so fat they could hardly walk. Kierkegaard imagined that they believed their lives to be perfect, as every need they had was in abundance.
When autumn came, the truth became apparent. The wild geese that had spent the warm summer months in Denmark would gather in preparation for their southerly migration.
As they assembled to fly south they would circle in the skies above the farms, calling out to any stragglers to join in their flight. At this point the farmed geese would lift their heads from the feeding troughs and look into the skies, heeding the call of their wild cousins. For the first time in their lives they would become animated, running as best they could around their enclosures and attempting to fly. Of course, their gluttonous diet and life of luxury meant that they were far too fat to get airborne – but that did not stop them from trying. And then, as quickly as the commotion had started, the wild geese would fly off and the fattened farm geese would watch them briefly before returning to their grain to continue eating their way to their deaths.
This Sunday, I am going to take a few weeks to think together with you about what it means to be the church together. Are we farmed geese or wild geese? Are we meant to feed or do we feed in order to fly? What does it mean to “leave the walls of the building” in order to serve the world? We will be looking at the New Testament to give us insight to these questions. It should be a fun journey!