One of things I strive to do in this life is pay attention to the movement of the Holy Spirit. I try to recognize when and where the Spirit is moving and live my life accordingly. Now while I do not prescribe to a fate driven life, I do very much believe in a Spirit lead life.
The time of testimony that we have in worship now is a testament to following the movement of the Holy Spirit. I had three different people come to me in the same day and speak about the virtues of testimony among the gathered Body of Christ. Now as some of you have heard me say, while I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, I am in the drawer; I got the message. So we started that time each week and the stories that have been shared have been stories of a very active God working and living in our midst and I am ever grateful that we listened and continue listen as people share.
I have had that moment of repetitiveness again today. I have been so blessed to have several great authors and theologians as seminary professors and I try to read as much as I can of these great teachers. One I hold dear to me and my faith journey is Rev. Steve Harper. He helped start the Orlando campus of my seminary and he and his wife Jeanne are an integral part of who I am today. I came across a quote of Rev. Harper’s the other day that I want to share with you. “Unity is not me asking you to become like me, and it is not you asking me to become like you. It is Christ asking all of us to be like him. He is our unity. We are one in him.”
Later in the day, I read an editorial from Rabbi Marc Gellman, some of you may know of him as a member of “The God Squad”. He wrote a response to the chaos we have witnessed recently in France. He said, “…we know enough about how we’re all different, but not enough yet about how we’re all the same.”
Both of those quotes got me thinking about the unity we profess each month in our Communion Liturgy; “By your Spirit, make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.”
How often do we focus on our differences? Not just physical differences, but differences of opinion, of direction, of process. We hone in on those differences and allow them to dictate our reactions and feelings and in no time at all the divide is created. Unity is not just conforming to one another, as Rev. Harper put it; it is not just a lack of knowledge about our similarities, as Rabbi Gellman put it. It is knowing that we are all one creation in God, as both men put it. For us, it is remembering that we are trying to build the same Kingdom, follow the same God, love like the same Christ, and follow the movement of the same Holy Spirit.
I want to encourage all of us to seek that unity in Christ. I want to invite all of us to see how our drive and determination is for the same goal and to remember when we feel those feelings of division starting to come up, lean on God and love like Christ and remember, we are one. We are one in ministry to all the world and I pray that through us and our oneness, the love of God may be felt in all that we do and all that we say.
Have a great week and I will see you Sunday,