Wednesday, November 16

Weekly Update

Right at the depth of the human condition, lies the longing for a presence, the silent desire for a communion. Let us never forget that this simple desire for God is already the beginning of faith. - Bro. Roger of Taize
This past weekend, the American Baptist Churches of Metro-Chicago (ABC-MC) held their annual meeting at North Shore Baptist Church. The scripture that was to be our theme for the weekend was Acts 10:1-48. This is the story of Peter and Cornelius. Larry Greenfield, the ABC-MC Executive Minister, encouraged us to be people of the Word, for the world and by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have to admit that I found the meeting inspiring.

But that was not to be all. No. This week, the Taize e-mail newsletter offered a meditation on the same scripture passage.
Unity is never something that is achieved once and for all, but always a reality to live day by day, within our communities as well as with those who are not part of them. Rooted in the Gospel, we can communicate God’s Word to others, but also recognize the action of God where we did not expect it, as Peter and his companions did by seeing the Holy Spirit at work in Cornelius’s household. Then communion spreads out like that tree of which Jesus said that the roots grow and the branches open so that the birds of the air can find shelter in it (see Matthew 13:32).
Can this be a word to Reconciler? Can we live at Reconciler as if it were a place for people to find shelter? Can it be a place where people seek unity? I like to think that it already is all this and more. But I am wise enough to know that these things, especially the obvious ones, demand an intentional practice. Perhaps the practice of unity is where God is calling us at Reconciler. Can we be a people of this Word? Can we be for this World? Do we have the courage to be people of the Holy Spirit?

I believe we can. May God give us the courage and wisdom of Peter.
Then Peter said, "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.