Thoughts from the Pastor

We Need Each Other

Let’s admit it; people can be frustrating. Whether it is a co-worker, a driver on the road, an individual in the grocery store, perhaps even someone in our church; people have the ability to get under our skin. This reality has led to a common myth among Christians that faith and salvation is largely an individual matter. Sure, we may attend church with others but as long as we have our own life figured out, as long as we believe the correct things we are good to go, right?! If people annoy us or disagree with us we can go about our faith our own!

In a recent sermon I introduced an idea first presented in the 6th century by a monk named Dorotheus of Gaza. If we look at the image of the wheel, Dorotheus invites us to imagine that the world is a circle with God at the center, and that the radii are the different ways human beings live. When those who wish to come closer to God walk towards the center of the circle, they come closer to one another at the same time as to God. The closer they come to God, the closer they come to one another. And the closer they come to one another, the closer they come to God.

The longer I spend in ministry the more I am convinced that true faith has less to do with us as individuals and more about humbly allowing ourselves to be part of something bigger. Yes, we are uniquely created and loved by our God but created and loved for the purpose of loving and working with others. This is why I love the imaged presented by Dorotheus, this profound idea that the best way to grow closer to God is not through removing ourselves from others but by leaning in towards one another. That as we join faith communities and develop deep and meaningful relationships with others we in turn deepen our relationship with God.

May we continue to view our faith as something that calls us into community. May we lean into each other as a faith community and continue to try and connect with those outside our walls. In doing so we will discover our God is alive and moving in our midst. Sure, people will continue to frustrate us but if we are honest we will see that our need for each other far outweighs those frustrations; so lean in!       ~Pastor Nathan