Raised to New Life
By Barbara Walden of West Hartford, CT, USA
Be patient with one another, for creating sacred community is arduous and even painful. But it is to loving community such as this that each is called. Be courageous and visionary, believing in the power of just a few vibrant witnesses to transform the world. Be assured that love will overcome the voices of fear, division, and deceit. —Doctrine and Covenants 161:3c
On a cool spring morning a couple of years ago, I boarded a bus with 40 other guests on the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation’s bus tour. We traveled through western New York and visited places significant in our church’s history. I thought about an event that happened not far from where we stood. That momentous event affected the lives of every person on that bus.
On another cool April day in 1830, a small group of seekers gathered in western New York to organize a church that later would become known as Community of Christ. The courage of those early pioneers in founding a new denomination changed their lives and the lives of generations to come.
Their willingness to follow the Holy Spirit to seek a greater understanding of Christ’s mission created within them a new way of believing, a new way to see the world. Their faith raised them to a new life. When we open ourselves to embrace Continuing Revelation, like the seekers gathered in western New York so many years ago, we open our eyes to experiencing Christ among us.
We traveled on the bus beyond New York, tracing our church roots in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and eventually Missouri. I realized that our faith community today may not be so different from the faith community gathered in April 1830. Today, we continue to seek what those early members were seeking: a new life in Christ.
Prayer for Peace
God of history, God of our every moment, help us remember where we came from—whose shoulders we stand on, whose sacrifices brought us to where we are, whose peace we share.
Spiritual Practice: Encountering Scripture as Continuing Revelation
Read and pray with Doctrine and Covenants as Continuing Revelation of God’s vision for the church and creation. Choose a favorite section or focus on counsel in Sections 156–164. Read a few selected paragraphs slowly three or four times. Pause to pray for deep understanding after each reading.
Pray for opening your heart and emotions. Prayerfully ask to hear the phrase or word that speaks to you or touches your life. Stay with this word or phrase. Listen as fully and openly as you can. What sense of divine presence or invitation comes? What do you find revealed?
Today, God, I will honor my heritage by sharing the peace of the one who made the supreme sacrifice.