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God in the Other

Here’s the truth about radical togetherness: it’s hard.

We humans have spent hundreds, even thousands of years perfecting the practice of dividing ourselves. Some feel that 2016 was the apex of this evolutionary trait, though it seems we are outdoing ourselves now – arguing over masks. We would be wrong in saying this. We are not yet killing each other as we did just a few short years ago in this country and as folks are still doing today around the world.

But today in America still feels so….off.

Knowing all this, what would make us think we can just all of a sudden be “radically together” in some squishy, kumbaya sort of way because some people from a group called The American Awakening said so? Why would we waste our time calling people to this radical togetherness?

I wish I had a good, clean answer. A philosophical treatise that would persuade you and then motivate you to take action toward radical togetherness. But the honest truth is, I don’t. All I know is that I really, really want to keep trying because there is, way down deep in my soul a feeling that we’re supposed to be together, not apart. Some would say we are created to be together.

This deep feeling, I believe, is implanted in us by a God who created ALL of us.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;

The creator God of the universe seems to desire that we experience the truth of a love which transcends divides. I don’t understand exactly why, but I think it has to do with this fact: our best life is found here. It’s the way we’re meant to live.

If you’re bent toward an open, mystical way of viewing God this might excite you as you wonder how all those rigid folks could possibly think any differently. If you’re bent toward a more defined, “orthodox” view of God, this might offend you, wondering how anyone could believe that just feeling good and getting along is enough. I grew up one way and am bent the other, but I won’t tell you which is which. Just know that I’ve experienced both emotions.

But here’s what I know: when I try – when I really try – to love people who are different from me, I am better for it. Is it comfortable? Nope. It challenges all my assumptions. But when I sit and listen to someone who sees the world in really different ways, I find myself leaving that interaction somehow richer. More loving and kind. And dare I say, closer to God.

God, if you made us in your image, would you help us see that image in one another, no matter who that other may be. Amen.


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Joel

Joel Searby



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