Divine Intersect: Sacramental Moment
By Kerry Richards of Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. —Galatians 1:3–5 NRSV
Empathy is a word that evokes intersection. It suggests merging one’s life with another’s life. To encounter the insights, emotions, pain, sorrow, joy, love, and hopes of someone who is willing to trust and open their life to you. There is depth in their eyes you see for the first time. There is a quiver in their voice that resonates with their story. You see a tear that expresses the release of a burden that frees them to live and be.
Empathy is a shared life that enters your space and touches your soul, forever changing your awareness of life. It changes your connection with that person and all others. We talk of intimacy with the Spirit of God, of discerning moments, of meeting the presence of the Spirit. There is a feeling that fills your soul with a depth of knowing, a flood of being, a sense of purpose and worth.
These two experiences of empathic experience are divine, not separate from one another, but realities of the oneness of God within and with one another. God experienced in me, and God experienced in you are empathic meetings of self and others—a sacramental moment. The human and the Divine intersect. Eternity and sacred community blend. You hold the other in your gaze, in your heart, in your soul.
Once you have experienced empathy, it opens you up to the need for sacred community. To invite others into this pure and holy awareness is to find that trust transcends separateness. Sacred community leads us to the purest form of mission. Sacred community is the reason we invite and the meaning we share. Sacred community is the peace of God envisaged in the seal of Community of Christ.
If we want to be in sacred community, discern through the Spirit where empathy calls you to enter the lives of others. Be willing to be a blessing in their lives, allowing unconditional selflessness. Out of this depth of humanness and divine connection, how can you not be a source of invitation to sacred community and others who share this common story?
Live into empathy through the spirit of discernment, and your life will never be the same.
Prayer for Peace
Holy Spirit, as we connect with others, we are closer to you. We cannot separate Creation from Creator. Only if we find peace with one another, will we find peace at all.
Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community
Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the friendships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community? Reflect, pray, or write in your journal about the call to be “Community of Christ.” Go deeper each day as you consider what acts of blessing you can complete for stranger and friend alike.
Today, God, I will hold another in my heart, pausing to feel their pain and their joy.