Invitation: Simple and Miraculous
By Emily Rose of Claremont, CA, USA
If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. —Romans 12:18 NRSV
I think there are times when we have low denominational self-esteem in Community of Christ. We feel like a small church—one that isn’t well known in the wider Christian family. It is sometimes hard to explain who we are to people who haven’t heard of us. All of this is placed against a changing religious landscape in which more and more people identify as spiritual but not religious. It can get disheartening!
Still, I’m here to tell you there is GOOD NEWS!
So here it is, my one true sentence of good news: Invitation is both simple and miraculous. I’ve watched truly simple invitations bubble up in the Southern Utah Congregation. Simple because new coworkers just happened to sit next to someone and just happened to mention that they were looking for a spiritual home. I’ve watched simple invitations at housewarming parties where the topic of church comes up. Sometimes all it takes is a returned phone call or a heartfelt e-mail. It doesn’t seem like it takes much. As we read in Doctrine and Covenants 165:1c, “Opportunities abound in your daily lives if you choose to see them.”
While it starts out simple, it almost always turns into something miraculous. Taking the first step to invite requires willingness to risk being vulnerable with someone. It calls for a willingness to share a part of our lives that a wider culture has asked us to keep quiet. It’s about showing someone our own divine inner spark and inviting them into a community that feeds that spark. What a miracle!
The miracle doesn’t stop there, either. Simple invitations often tap into the deep longing of those we invite. Suddenly a community starts to form, and relationships deepen. A coworker is no longer just a coworker. People in our daily lives suddenly become spiritual companions. Little by little, vulnerable moment by vulnerable moment, the community begins to change. I’m telling you—it’s a miracle!
So here we are. A seemingly small church—but one with a simple and miraculous choice to make.
Whom will you invite?
God is with us.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Ordinary time is a season for awakening to God’s presence in all the details and circumstances of our everyday, ordinary lives. Wherever you are, pay attention to your surroundings. Allow yourself to be fully present for a time with whatever is before you. Where do you sense God with you right now exactly where you are?
How does today’s story invite you to discover God in the realities of your everyday life?
Today’s Prayer for P eace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.