If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy … then make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul
From his Letter to the Philippians
If you have had any encounter with love – the kind of love Jesus lived: unconditional, humble, selfless, forgiving – then strive to be of that same mind, of that same heart!!
Paul called the very first church of Christ to this way of seeing and being. Ought it not also be the way of every church of Christ today?! Transforming our way of thinking, of feeling … and thereby of speaking and acting?! Ought this not be the single goal of our church?!
The Bible calls this repentance – to turn and to see, to think, and to act differently … with the very mind and heart of Jesus. Not just to move left to right or right to left on the political spectrum. But to see yourself and the world around you differently … through the eyes of Christ … and thereby to strive for a balance of both left and right.
Now, you may not realize it, but there is a political battle going on in our country (LOL!). How will we ever realize peace? How will we achieve anything but further polarization in the next election? Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The only way to achieve something different, something that brings peace to ourselves and to our country is to do something different … to have the heart and mind of Christ and to demand the same from those whom we support and elect as we’re finding out in our Tuesday morning gatherings, this starts within our own selves.
Now, contemplative doesn’t mean just sitting on the floor with your legs impossibly crossed and humming. It means sitting with your legs crossed or standing or walking around with a mind and a heart that sees all the wonders of life in all its variety … giving thanks for it … and seeking to live in harmony with it … all. Jesus called this being born of both water and spirit. He said it’s about loving God (all that is) and therefore your neighbor as yourself.
Well, we at MUMC are seeking to live into Jesus’ (and therefore Paul’s) purpose of church – to nurture that mind and heart. We’re working through The Tao of Inner Peace by Diane Dreher, The Tao of Christ by Rev. Marshall Davis … building on our discussions of The Universal Christ by Fr. Rohr and maintaining a solid foundation in Holy Scripture. We will begin a practice of this way of “sitting and seeing” on Wednesday evenings, starting February 5. (No, you won’t have to impossibly cross your legs!) I hope you’ll join the Tuesday morning sharing and learning group and/or the Wednesday evening time of practicing and experiencing a new way of seeing and being.
Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is near – repent and believe this good news!” Repent! See things differently! Live into the kingdom of God that is close at hand … and yet so far away these days.
Peace & Joy