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We See Through the Glass Darkly: We Need One Another

Human beings, even in the same families, are born with unbelievably different ways of being in the world. It seems like God really complicated life on earth by making us this diverse. Yet, the mystics of all the world’s religions insist that the spiritual reality is that we are all one.

And even the Apostle Paul tells Christians, that we, the person next to us in the pew, and presumably the Christians worshiping God across the street and around the corner, are the Body of Christ. Every single one of us is an indispensable part that needs all the other parts to function as Jesus Christ’s visible presence in the world today. When the smallest, least important part is ignored or neglected, the whole body suffers.

Some years ago, when reflecting on this scripture while preparing a sermon for a group of Directors of Christian Education from diverse denominations, a very disturbing image suddenly filled my mind. I saw a person with their arms flailing in different directions, their head twisting side to side, and their out of sync legs struggling to stumble forward even a little with each step.

I felt like I had been hit in the stomach as I grasped the reality that this is the Body of Christ now. I literally cried aloud, “God, what can I do?” And immediately into my mind came the answer, “Admit what you can’t do.”
Well, that took me several decades. 

But I have finally realized that neither I, nor any of us, can discern God’s will unless we recognize with Paul that we see through the glass darkly. No matter what our natural gifts or spiritual ministries are, we need to be humble enough to consider other visions, so we don’t block what the Spirit is saying to the Body of Christ at any particular moment in time. Our vision may be valid, but just not in God’s timing for a particular part of His motley crew of Christians.

And like Paul, I have finally come to see that the most important gift really is love. That no matter how wonderful our own gifts are, unless we do the work of God with hearts open to all, with gentleness, sensitivity, patience and above all, humility, we become a noisy clanging cymbal that cripples the Body of Christ and blocks our broken hurting world from hearing the love of God expressed in Jesus.

The Broken Body

Reflecting on the Body,
you the hand, I the foot,
Christ the head, perhaps the heart,
all at times the hidden part,
I let the Scriptures
flood my mind with images,
with suddenly one image,
a moving picture
so harshly real
I gasp aloud.
A person staggers
stumbles forward,
arms flailing, head jerking
back and forth in spasms,
body parts all pulling
different ways.
This then, reality,
Christ’s earthly body now.

God, forgive us.

The prayer of my heart:
“Jesus, I want so much to use the gifts God gave me and the gifts of your Spirit to bring your love to our broken world and hurting people. Give me both the courage to let God use me and the humility to accept God’s timing. But most of all teach me how to love humbly, so that I do not become a clanging gong or clashing cymbals blocking others from knowing your love.”

Becoming a Part of Peace

I belong to a group of bloggers, “Be 4 Peace.” At least once a month we post a blog relating to some aspect of peacemaking.
Now, one of our group has encouraged us to pray, chant, send peaceful thoughts, whatever anyone does along those lines, for peace.
We are focusing on peace for ten minutes on Sunday evenings between 7pm and midnight in our time zone.
We are hoping to encourage others to both join us and share this idea with friends.

I am a woman of just a little faith, so I have to start with myself. Then as I, myself, open up to the grace to be more peaceful, it gives me hope for others on a progressively larger scale. My dream is that adding my tiny mustard seed of faith to others’ will help create an ever growing tree of faith for peace.

There are as many ways to participate in this, as there are people. I only share mine on the chance that it will help someone else get started.

I start by saying or thinking repetitively for several moments, “Lord have mercy on me. Christ have mercy on us. God heal our broken world with your peace.

Then, I reflect on where I am not at peace inside myself, pray for grace to, with my will, let go of the cause.
Next, I think of any relationships I have that are not peaceful, and ask God for insight into how I might see things differently; I pray for healing of hurts and the relationship; and then ask for God’s love for the others involved.
Next, I pray for healing for friends and family that also have broken relationships with others.
Then, I pray for enlightenment for world leaders, so they will seek peace.
Then, I ask for the peace that passes understanding to come into all hearts.

We invite you to join us in your own way in seeking peace. We set Sunday evenings between 7pm and midnight as a way to help ourselves actually do this and to increase our hope by knowing others are joined with us.