Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Today’s text

Ephesians 4:1-3

I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life worthy of the vocation to which you were called. With all humility and gentleness, and with patience, support each other in love. Take every care to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together.


The grace that I have most consistently rejected in nearly 60 years of living is that of community, solidarity, togetherness.

I was raised in an age when individualism was at high tide. But I also nourished a deep personal strain that wanted to stand over and against others, seeking to establish an identity that was unique that I might pretend that ‘they do not--or cannot--understand me.’

At the same time, I wanted to be admired by those from whom I imagined that I was so different. As if I were less flesh and blood than those from whom I would distance myself; as if they felt all that much better understood by others than I did.

As if my sense of aloneness in the world was not shared by ... everyone.

I have imagined the journey of faith, too, as an individual endeavor, not as a pilgrimage to God’s eternal city in communion with other souls as blessed and needy as my own.

The grace to which I come in these years is one of realism, the grace of realizing I am a merely and blessedly human-- not some kind of separate uber-human species so different from all the others with whom I walk the streets.

They are like me. Just so, they are God’s gift to me as I am gift to them, whether any of us recognize or not.

But when we recognize it, surrender the arrogance of imagining we are so different from each other and seek to live with humility and gentleness, the gulf between our souls is bridged, the myth of our alones is shattered, our wounds find balm, and we feel the unity of life and heart God intends.

At our best, the church and each congregation is a place of knowing the grace of community that sets us free from ourselves for truly human lives.

Pr. David L. Miller

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