Thursday, August 02, 2012
Thursday, August 2, 2012
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.
Unity of Spirit is not toleration, not mere acceptance or the absence of mistrust and conflict. It is the loving awareness that swells when human hearts experience common faith, hope and endeavor.
A song at worship can do this, sweeping souls into a single hope, lifting them into awareness of the great love who holds them.
Common work or sorrow also brings unity. Times of great loss or destruction breaks open our individual cocoons and joins us in common efforts to care for each other or rebuild broken lives and homes.
Christians … others, too, for that matter … band together to send crews to towns ravaged by disasters. We say we do it to live the love of Christ, and that is true. The Spirit within moves us beyond ourselves.
But we do it not only to share the love of Christ but to know Christ’s love, to be swept up in a love that binds us to each other and to the One who is the Fountain of that love.
Amid the common labor--or in sharing the sorrow of one who has suffered great personal loss--the gulf between our souls disappears. Our aloneness in the world evaporates. We feel connected at the heart, and God’s hope and plan for the world becomes real.
Our completion, the Spirit’s fulfillment and salvation of our lives is not an individual reality but a communal one. We are not saved by ourselves, all alone, but as we are gathered in an ocean of love that holds us all, and all of together, knowing one love.
Pr. David L. Miller