We are nearing the end of our covenant commitments with just this week and next week to go. More details on what comes next, next week. Here is the next one: We will value one another’s opinions, honour one another’s differences, hold love supreme and wholeheartedly embrace our collective decisions
Alison made the comment last week, just before the service, that the undergirding theme through all of this, including the words of Kelly and Roger prior to our embarking on this exploration, was love. And yeap, she’s right. Love does undergird all of what we have been speaking about, but what sits on top of that love is grace, respect, reconciliation, forgiveness, honesty and openness.
This week we add two more words that rest on love, that of value and embrace.
This is what it all looks like when we keep these covenant commitments in mind. We will value each other, value their experiences, their opinions and try to value their decisions. We will honour our differences, honour that we have been created in the image of God, and honour that although we are different, we are all children of God. That means love guides our thoughts and actions and together we embrace those thoughts, actions and decisions to show that love.
Our reading from Matthew speaks of the importance of approaching and repairing any difference or hurt we have experienced. Value and embrace the opportunity to set things between each other aside and be in good relationship with each other. Now, sometimes that doesn’t work as we would want it to but don’t give up, keep trying to clear the air and bring others into the conversation. Also be prepared to walk away from this interaction if your differences cannot be settled. The reading also reminds us that if two of us agree on something that we ask or seek then it will be done by God. Our decisions are made in community and usually by consensus, and so together we can move forward and embrace those decisions collectively.
At the end of our reading for this week we hear an extremely comforting and soul restoring statement – “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Christ is present within our community always, and all that we do, say and think comes from that presence of the love of God, personified by the life of Christ in our world.
This is how we are as the people of God, this is how we be the people of God and this is how we are in relationship as the community of God in this place and at this time.