Monday, August 5, 2013
Friends of Faith:
I have always had a great desire to be one: to count everyone around me as a friend (by relationship) and to make them a part of our family (I believe we are truly all connected as relatives).
I was struck this weekend by several of those “one”connections—by weddings of two “family” members, family “relatively” and thru “relationship” (although I am positive we must somehow be connected relatively.) Congratulations to Lexie and Chad and Janelle and Justin!
And Sunday, I was again awe struck by what is the desired “oneness”of the universal church community, as we baptized into the Christian family the newest member of our nuclear family, our granddaughter, Avery Lynn Staker.
We profess, in the beginning of our faith, at our Christian baptism: “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, …I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, I believe in one, holy, catholic [universal] and apostolic Church. I confess oneBaptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. (Nicene Creed).
At their weddings it was spoken: “the two shall become one.”And because those vows were fulfilled in a wedding just over two years ago, the two were joined and were given the Godly gift of a child. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” Gen 2: 24
We are unified as witnesses when we are baptized into the Christian church given to us through his one son, Christ Jesus. We are unified by marriage (of two persons who become a family) or by a marriage of God and person (at ordination or death). And we have one common goal and that is to be with God in heaven as revealed to us through our faith and by the grace of God.
Whether we know it or not we are constant witnesses of the oneness God intended when he created our human family in the first family, Adam and Eve.
But sometimes this unity seems terribly short lived. It doesn’t seem to be very many years into our lives when differences appear: divisions and distances made through our own choices and the reactions of others to those choices (conflicts and disagreements which ultimately end in some form of divorce or war).
Am I truly striving to remain and to become ONE with Christ, with an entire Christian family, as was professed at my baptism when I was made a child of God and as I confirmed through my own choice at confirmation? Am I striving to become and form a unified family (and the joining of two distinct families as in-laws) as I vowed I would strive to do on our wedding day? Or is my vanity causing me to want to be right, to win, to make my own path, to become my own god, or even to form my own “church”?
“Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and yet to another who has not labored over it, he must leave property. This also is vanity and a great misfortune. For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun? All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest.This also is vanity.” Ecc 1: 2, 2: 21-23
Heavenly Father, You are THE unity and THE oneness I desire. Give me the patience and the perseverance to continue to search and to respond to Your one, holy and apostolic truth. Help me to be Your servant: a servant which heals division, which unites the divided, and which seeks peace amongst our Christian family. Take my vanity and change it into the humbleness needed to surrender my entire being to You. Amen.
May we be ONE in Christ,