A reflection by Danny Schweers for June 23, 2023.
What was it that the Rev. Canon Kirkpatrick said in her sermon last Sunday that was so inspiring? Here is my perhaps faulty transcription of what she said near the end of her sermon.
“Jesus reminds his disciples to ask God for help, specifically in sending more workers into the harvest. We are not meant to do this work alone, so we keep our eyes peeled for the many marvelous and often unexpected ways in which God sends us support and companions…. Often we know we are on the right track by its joy…. One of God’s singular moves is to make possible what seems impossible, insurmountable and overwhelming and to do so in unexpected ways and through unlikely people. In this way God gets us to train our eyes and ears to see and hear what God is doing and to show it to each other, to get us to persevere when it seems hopeless, to find strength in each other and to strengthen us when the going gets rough. Jesus knows … when we go out into the world in His name, doing His work, we participate in the transformation of our own soul.”
I find it inspiring that God has trained, and continues to train, our eyes and ears to see and hear what God is doing in the world. We, as Christians, are called to be part of what God is doing in the world. We know we are on the right track when we encounter joy. Sign me up!
I am reminded of the Lord’s Prayer, which focuses on the connection between heaven and earth, between God and us — and our connection to our neighbors. What I hear is that heaven is a place where God’s will is done. And what do we pray? That God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Earth, it seems, is a place where God’s will can be done — where it can be done and often is done.
Central to this is our connection to one another. The Lord’s Prayer asks God to forgive us just as we forgive others. God loves us, no ifs, ands or buts. We cut ourselves off from that love when we cut others off from our love. Jesus told us to love our enemies. Hard stuff! But if we hate our enemies, if we cut them off from our love, we cut ourselves off from God’s love at the same time. If our neighbor offends us, if our friend offends us, if our love of them is injured, our call is to repair the breach. To reconnect to them is to reconnect with God, or so it seems to me.
We isolate ourselves from God’s love every time we bar someone from our inner circle of warmth and love. We cut ourselves off from what is best, the source of life. The challenge is to connect. What did Canon Kirkpatrick say? “One of God’s singular moves is to make possible what seems impossible, insurmountable and overwhelming and to do so in unexpected ways and through unlikely people.” I want to be one of those unlikely people.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danny N. Schweers chairs SsAM’s Communication Committee and is an active photographer and writer. Click here to visit his website and make a comment.