Working together, all good things are possible | Church Corner

For five years I have had the blessing of sharing my thoughts about faith through Church Corner articles. As I now put electrons to computer screen for my final Church Corner article – I am retiring at the end of June – I want to thank The Courier-Herald for the opportunity for leaders of the faith community to share their varied views of faith through this column.

I especially want to thank the many readers who have commented, questioned, agreed or disagreed with my articles over the years. I can think of nothing more uninspiring than for everyone to think exactly the same way about God. To believe only one way. To worship only one way. To experience God only one way.

God is God of diversity, revealing the sacred to us in so many different ways. Awesome in grandeur and majesty in creation all around us, yet smaller than the smallest blade of grass. God is bigger than the universe, yet small enough to embrace a homeless couple on a park bench. Abundant in all that is provided for us, yet caring enough to cry over a hungry child’s empty bowl.

To say that God only can be revealed the way I think is to put God in my personal box to be used as I choose. To judge others the way I want. To love only those I love. That is not God. That is an idol.

Perhaps that is the greatest challenge for Christianity in the future. To not make God an idol to do what particular Christians want, but to actually live lives to do what God calls us to do as followers of Christ. To actually love our neighbor and not kill them with condemning words or actions or bullets. To actually love God in all diversity, and not just the way we want. To understand that God loves the neighbor we don’t love. That God loves the people we condemn and embraces them with grace.

God doesn’t ask much of us. The prophet Micah tells us that God simply wants us to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly in life with our God. Jesus doesn’t give us a whole big list of commandments to follow. He asks that we simply love God and our neighbor, and in doing that in our lives all the commandments are fulfilled. Those don’t sound like they are impossible, but for human beings they can seem impossible. Yet through God all things are possible.

So what will be possible for the faith community, and those who don’t belong to a faith community, here on the Plateau in the future? I just gave you the answer – all things are possible. A shelter for abused women – possible. Transition housing for homeless – possible. No child or family going to bed hungry – possible. All being welcomed – possible.

That is not an opportunity just for Christians. It is an opportunity for people of all faiths or no faiths. My prayer is that by working and dialoging together, the possibilities will become realities. May God bless you and our communities with the power of possibility.

And may the last word always be grace.

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