In popular parlance, we sometimes use the phrase “by osmosis” to mean, without effort. The idea being that if you are exposed to something long enough you will learn it. I won’t bother with the scientific definition of osmosis because it’s actual meaning isn’t usually what we mean when we say that something happened, “by osmosis.”
We can learn a lot about something because the people around us know about the thing. I know a lot about the Girl Guides because my Mom was heavily involved with the organization for many years. So too with knitting. One day my sister phoned from university looking for Mom. She had a question about knitting. Mom was out and I asked if I could help. Much to my surprise, I knew the answer to her question. I might have said that I learned about knitting by osmosis. It is unlikely that anyone would wear a sweater I knit, having learned only through osmosis. Or who would go to a doctor, or even a hair stylist, who only knows what they know through osmosis?
As Christian people, we learn what it means to be Christian from other Christians. Sort of, by osmosis. It remains important for us to continue to read, listen and study our Faith so that we can be proficient and able to explain and live our faith. The Collect prayer for All Saints says that we are, “knit together in one holy Church.” Using our whole being, our hearts, minds, bodies and souls is far more productive method of learning than by osmosis. But more to the point, when we are knit together we are for more effective at being the Body of Christ, proclaiming a Gospel of love and doing God’s will in the world.