10.12.05

Chocolate and community - Jesus Army Life, Day 148

"Covetousness is a sin you know," I commented at the dinner table.
"That's easy for you to say when your portion is bigger than mine!" came the reply.

There had already been murmurs around the table that my bowl of ice-cream was bigger than everyone else's... I could sense rebellion was about to kick off, and so, being a principled communitarian, I quickly wolfed down my ice-cream before anyone else could get their thieving hands on it...

To Covet. Definition: (verb) to wish, long, or crave for (something, especially the property of another person); to be immoderately desirous of acquiring; a sin prohibited by the Ten Commandments.

Covetousness is probably the most un-talked about sin in modern Christianity perhaps because it invisibly pervades every part of the Western lifestyle. It's not particularly about portions of ice-cream, but it is what stops many Christians living a more community-orientated life.

Does community cure us of covetousness? Not if the ice-cream episode is anything to go by. Still, community cuts across the quickest of routes to covetousness by making sure we share our money and possessions and by enshrining simplicity as a way of life. In this way the "I want" factor is constrained by the "I will love" principle.

Nevertheless, at White Stone we have to have a 'chocolate deacon'. (How she got the job I'll never know.) Her duties are to store chocolate under her bed and bring it out at opportune times eg. entertaining guests, a gift, a small treat etc. It becomes a very useful role at Christmas time since it prevents all that excessive, weight gaining, munching which inevitably creeps in at this time of year.

Now, it may be a well known fact that all sisters, (ahem) store chocolate under their beds, but I'm really not sure how that experience made her any better for the job than me!