There is a community in Nova Scotia called Great Village. I often wonder how it came to be called by that name.
It might be that there’s a lake nearby called Great Lake and the village is just named after the lake. It might be that it was named after a king who was known as “the Great,” and the name of the village just became shortened. It might be that many years ago the people of the village held a name-the-village contest and some kid said, “I think this village is really great,” and the name just stuck. It might be that people from neighboring places said, “Those people over there think they’re so great,” and just calling the place great in a sarcastic sort of way.
I guess I could find out how the place became known as Great Village and maybe I will some day.
The word “Protestant” has a peculiar sort of story to it. On the one hand, members of the Protestant movement called themselves that because they were pro-testament, meaning that they were in favour of the teachings they thought were contained in the New Testament. On the other hand, others started calling them “Protestants” because they thought the members of the movement were just a bunch of “protesters.”
It is important for us to know what define us, before someone else defines us. Even in our Gospel lesson today (Luke 18:9-14), not only should we not judge others, it is better for one person to listen for God’s judgement before the other one gets to judge and define him.
Mostly, it seems to me, the Christian faith is relegated to the sidelines and ignored by much of society, unless, of course, we’re doing something weird or illegal. From time-to-time, people do take notice of us and it is them that we need to be prepared to state boldly who we are.
We are a people whose God-given vision is to show to the world (by any mean we are able) the transforming love and justice of God. There are those who accuse us of not standing for anything, they are people with closed ears and hearts because our vision shows that we stand for everything that is good and that comes from God the Creator. We are, by God’s defining, a Great Village.