Letting God’s spirit work….
That sounds pretty simple and straightforward, but in my faith tradition, we’re struggling to understand just what it means. And I know we’re not the only ones.
What happens when we’re satisfied with the status quo? What happens when some feel God calling us one direction…and others feel that that direction is in direct contradiction to God’s word?
My faith tradition is currently struggling with basically issues of equality. Can we…should we…ordain to ministry members of the GLBT community who are in long-term monogamous committed relationships? And can we…should we…allow the sacrament of marriage for same-sex relationships?
I know what my response is and what I want my church leaders to do. Yet there are others whom I love who feel exactly the opposite.
Last Sunday the leader of our church spoke to the church as a whole (through face-to-face worship that was also webcast). One of the key questions he raised was this:
What is the Holy Spirit doing today to continue to shape us as true community in Christ? I am referring to the sacred community in which “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28b (NRSV).
I wish the answer were clear and simple. But it’s not. Or maybe it is–and we’re making it far more difficult than it needs to be.
Maybe the way to let God’s spirit work among us is to be willing to let go of those things that we are convinced we know–and to be willing to acknowledge just how much we don’t know.
Maybe the way is to put ourselves in the place of the questioner who came to Jesus, convinced that he was righteous because he knew (and had been keeping) all the laws that his understanding said were the path to God. But he wanted to know just which one of them was the most important. The Message puts it this way:
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
Maybe…just maybe…living the law of love and letting God’s spirit work within us are the same thing.