Daily Bread September 04

Our Destinies Are Intertwined
Stephen M. Veazey, prophet-president of Community of Christ

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace-in peace because they trust in you. -Isaiah 26:3

I believe it is essential to the witness and mission of the church for us to stop defining each other in divisive ways. So easily we are tempted to categorize people by terms like “liberal” and “conservative,” “progressive” and “traditional,” “right” and “left,” “more spiritual” and “less spiritual.” Why? Because categorizing people means we don’t have to get to know them. We can simply hold on to assumptions and stereotypes that reinforce our views. Here’s a novel idea: How about referring to each other as “brother” and “sister” in Christ as the beginning, middle, and end point for all of our relationships in the Community of Christ? What a witness to the world that would be!

We could begin right now by confessing that we have all done something to hurt or offend others. Sometimes it is inadvertent; sometimes it emerges out of the heat of conflict that naturally occurs from time to time. We need to confess that we all have participated in behaviors that have marginalized, offended, and wounded people to the point that they wonder whether they have a place in the Community of Christ.

In order to be the prophetic community of peace, reconciliation, and healing of the spirit, we must first examine our attitudes and behaviors. One of the greatest challenges facing the church today is that we are allowing the same polarization so common in many societies to prevail in our own church relationships. We place a higher premium on being “right” than on being “in right relationship,” truly reconciled in Christ.

The walls of hostility and division that Christ has torn down are being rebuilt by us because of our suspicion of others who are different from us. Here is the truth: We are much more alike than we are different; our destinies are intertwined. Why, then, do we focus on the differences rather than on the fact that we are all children of the One God who created us, who, despite our rebellion and shortsightedness, has made us of one household in Christ Jesus?

(Excerpts from 2005 World Conference sermon)

Prayer Phrase

“…all things in God and God in all things” (Mechthild of Magdeburg).

Spiritual Practice

Reflecting on Presence

Breathe deeply and become present to the Presence with you here and now. Take a few moments in the silence to reflect prayerfully on the following questions:

Where have you been aware of God’s presence in your life?
What is God’s invitation to you in this story?
How do you desire to be more open to God’s presence and invitation tomorrow?

Today‘s Prayer for Peace

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.

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