Friday, May 25, 2018

How we manifest #LoveIsTheWay

Last Sunday we joyfully celebrated the Feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit first descended upon the members of the body of Christ on earth, filling them – and now and us - with power and authority to proclaim to the whole world the Good News that in Jesus #LoveIsTheWay. To make manifest this divine commission, we remember and consider our Baptismal Covenant (BCP, 304)

In our Baptismal Covenant we affirm our righteousness, that is, who God is and who we are in relationship to God. We state our belief in God who is Trinity in Unity and commit to living deeply into that relationship by the means of fellowship, gathering for Holy Communion, and corporate prayer. We pledge to work to see, without defense or self-protection, the reality of sadness and harm that exists in the world, to own our contributions toward that worldly state, and to change our direction (or thoughts, or habits) in order to restore righteousness, that is, right relationship with God and one another.

Then come our “action” promises. We promise to proclaim by our words and our lives the Good News of God in Christ. To actively seek out persons to serve in Christ’s name, that is, in the way Christ did, being Christ to them. We promise to love and respect the dignity of all people, committing to follow the path that will inevitably lead us onto a path of sacrificial, justice-seeking, life-transforming love.

Our response to each of these vows affirms for us our righteousness (right relationship) once again: “I will, with God’s help.” God and us working as one until the whole world manifests the fullest expression of #LoveIsTheWay.

This was the ministry Jesus claimed and his ministry was characterized by humility and hospitality, mercy and forgiveness, and reconciliation of the least, the lost, the exiled, the reviled. Boldly proclaiming a new revelation that #LoveIsTheWay, Jesus (who is God, who is Love) set people free from the bondage of their sins and from the bondage of those who sinned against them and set the whole world free to love and respect each other in the unity and presence of God.

This is the ministry we are called to claim today, fully aware that living out this covenantal call will, at times, cause us discomfort, insecurity, even fear, about what we should do next. What ministry, what program, what way of worshipping does God seek from us now?

Remembering our faithfulness to our covenant with God, we resist the temptation to determine how things ought to go, and instead, make space in our own lives and in our life in community for the Spirit of God to descend upon us so that we can be transformed by God’s love and radiate that love into our world according to God’s will. We know that we discover God’s will for us by gathering together to pray and share the strengthening, holy food of Communion, then patiently and humbly listening as one body, one spirit for inspiration (the breath) from God which sends us into the world, to make manifest just a little bit more, in our time and place on God’s earth, the reality that #LoveIsTheWay.

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