There is One (May 30, 2013)

…Opening To…

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me save that thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping thy presence my light (Ancient Irish Hymn)

…Listening In…

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6; context)

…Filling Up…

It’s the second to last day of our Guitar Case series, and, as luck would have it we have two more verses. Today’s verse comes from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, but I encountered it originally in the Episcopal service of baptism. Indeed, these are some of the first words you hear when you attend a baptism in an Episcopal Church.

Baptism, which comes from the Greek word that means “to wash,” is the outward sign (getting wet) of the inward grace of claiming the identity of a member of God’s family. Therefore, it’s pretty wonderful to say these words from Ephesians before we get to the watery part. These words are all about One-ness. We may each be individual units with brains and appendages and many layers of skin, which separate us one from another. But this surface-level autonomy masks a greater truth, which Paul uncovers with these words. We are not discreet units. We are not autonomous individuals. We are pieces of a vast network of interconnections (The Internet? No, but close.)

The spiritual truth that underlies all reality is that we are connected through the love of God, which is a connection that cannot be severed or disrupted by anything in all Creation. We are part of the one body. The one Spirit connects us. We subscribe to the one hope, which is fulfilled by the one Lord. We share the faith, we proclaim our sharing with baptism. And the One God is the presence that binds all this one-ness together. So rejoice that you aren’t alone. You may feel like an autonomous, isolated unit. By you’re not. None of us is. We’re one. (Hey, I think U2 said that in the early 1990s…I guess there are worse folks to crib from!)

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the source of all unity in this world. Help me to recognize my connection to other people and live into the responsibility that such a connection entails. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, but I take with me your word, which settles deep in my soul and speaks life into my being.

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