“Faith, when it comes down to it, is an often breathless attempt to keep up with the redemptive activity of God, to keep asking ourselves, ‘What is God doing? Where on earth is God going now?’”
— Dr. William Willimon
I’ve been pondering the question, “What makes us a community?” Is it proximity to one another? Is it recognition of faces that we frequently encounter? Is it shared ideas? Mutual passions? Common fears or enemies?
In The Acts of the Apostles, Luke shares the story of the conversion of the Gentile Roman soldier, Cornelius, as he celebrates his new life in Christ. Peter, at this point a follower of Jesus, but still a devout Jew, finds himself in table fellowship with someone he’s spent his whole life carefully avoiding. To share table with a Gentile? A Roman soldier? It was not done! Yet . . .
This Sunday, we will look at the fascinating story from the earliest days of the Christian movement as we explore the idea of community — The Beloved Community of God.
Startle us, O God, as You startled disciples long ago
with new ideas, new openness, new acceptance and love,
which transcend old traditions and ancient barriers.
Startle us with a love that transcends even our own long-held assumptions.
Startle us, Spirit of the Living God, unpredictable, surprising,
and open us, each one, for the word You have for us today.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(from “When Outsiders Become Insiders” by John Buchanan)
See you this Sunday in worship!
Rev. Linda McDermott,
Senior Associate Pastor &
Associate Pastor of Worship