Meditation on Words of Counsel
By Carman Thompson of Drumbo, Ontario, Canada
Oneness and equality in Christ do not mean uniformity. They mean Unity in Diversity and relating in Christ-like love to the circumstances of others as if they were one’s own. They also mean full opportunity for people to experience human worth and related rights, including expressing God-given giftedness in the church and society. —2016 words of counsel
What does it mean to be one? How can we be part of the divine Oneness? In a sense we already are part of the sacred community that is God. Yet we do not recognize our oneness. Or said differently, perhaps we do not deeply believe we are one in God.
We cannot be one in the spirit of love, grace, and generosity, but look at each other guardedly through eyes of division, suspicion, and fear. We who claim the name of Jesus are not exempt from this. At times we recognize we are all part of the divine family, but at other times we see our sisters and brothers as “other,” “them,” or even “you”!
Ideas, beliefs, and not knowing one another keep us apart. We give ourselves names that separate us: Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jew, even Community of Christ. We try to love and accept our small community, but even here we often fail, falling victim to divisions of belief and ideology.
How can we be one? Oneness begins with God, being one in God and one with God. Let my spirit accept the counsel of the Apostle Paul found in Philippians 2. Let this mind be in you and in me.
Prayer for Peace
Divine Oneness, only you can make us one. We are different from one another, but you are our common ground. If we could only see that you are in all of us. Help us see as you see. Help us love as you love. Help us share peace as Christ shared peace.
Spiritual Practice: Praying with a Partner
Pray with a partner if possible, or image Christ sitting with you. Be as one. The heart is a center of compassion and spiritual connection. Stand or sit across from your partner with hands open and palms up. Invite your partner to place his or her hands, palms down, on your hands. Close your eyes and be aware of the connection between your heart and your partner’s heart. What needs, feelings, or longings do you sense? Invite God’s presence to flow into you and move from your heart to the heart of your partner. (You also may pray this prayer by imagining a particular person across from you.)
Today, God, I will try to let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be in me.