How easily we become untied, when we become focused on ourselves.
“I believe this.” “I want that.” “I think this.” “I know that.” Our “I” statements have become the focus of our existence to the detriment of our unity, not just as a nation but as a church.
But when we start to think about what it means to be united in the Spirit, I believe we can become united as a nation as well. United in the Spirit has specific actions associated with it: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
These verbs have less to do with what any of us wants, believes, thinks or knows individually, and more to do with offering compassion, sharing generously, living with less so others may have more, listening to another, expressing empathy, releasing prejudice, putting our own needs aside so another person’s needs may be met, speaking softly, and living with restraint so others may simply live. This is not an easy way to exist. It requires wholehearted participation and a complete reshifting of our life priorities from selfish to selfless. We give up our “I” for a “we,” not referring to people as “other” but rather “together.” Because this is not easy, we rely on a higher power other than ourselves, the Holy Spirit.
Belief that the Holy Spirit can do this work in us, is true faith. For we are not alone as the faithful, we are united in God’s purpose for us and for the world. God wants an earth where all people are honored, all rights are recognized and all know they are loved. But we must give up our “I” many times, for this to become a reality. I pray in our focused time with the Holy Spirit this summer, that as God’s holy church, we will find ourselves living united.