Here’s a reflection I wrote for my church’s June newsletter. It’s based on my message from May 14 titled “Bound in Love.” You can listen to an audio recording of some of my past messages at https://www.phoenixcommunitychurch.org/phx-sermons/.
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” – Chief Seattle (1786-1886)
Jesus is telling us pretty much the same thing when he says “On that day you’ll know that I am in God, and you are in me, and I am in you.” We are all connected: you, I, and Creation. We are all connected in God and this connection isn’t something that happens in the future. We’ve always been connected, but we just don’t realize it. It’s through the Holy Spirit that we come to know the bonds that connect us together. The Spirit is how we know God and how we know our own true authentic selves. The Spirit is that voice within that helps, teaches, and guides us. And the key that opens the door to the Spirit in our lives is love.
It is in love that we hear the Spirit speaking. It is in love that we come to know God because God is love. It is love that binds us together in the Divine Presence. Jesus says the world doesn’t accept the Spirit because the world doesn’t recognize the Spirit. So many people don’t know God. They don’t understand how we are connected and bound together. They don’t know their own true nature because they haven’t opened their hearts to love. Instead they focus on power and wealth, what they can get for themselves, with little thought for others. And they never accept that in hurting others they also hurt themselves.
Paul points out that God won’t be found in buildings or statues or altars or power or wealth. So, he says, we need to reform our lives and start looking for God in the right places. We need to look where God actually is: in life, people, Creation, relationships, and in love. Whenever we act in love, we open ourselves to Spirit and come to know God a little better. And whenever we accept the love of another, we also open ourselves to Spirit and come to know God a little better. Every time we love, we strengthen the ties that bind us together as the family of God.
Love begets love. The more love we give, the more love we have, the more healing we find, and the more healing flows into the world. And, ironically, as interdependent as our world is, it is also so divided and isolated by fear. The world needs healing. The world needs love. How can we help put more love into the world this week? Is there some act of love we can take to help the world recognize the Spirit of Truth, to recognize that we are bound together? That it is love that can save us and heal us?