I have chosen the Message for our daily reading because I enjoy its less formal language and I often gain additional insight into applying scripture to 2019. In his letter to the Ephesians Paul is painting a picture of unity in Christ…everyone belongs! “He [God] used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.”
Our recent emphasis at BUMC on our neighbors got me to thinking about my immediate ‘friends’…living on the two adjoining properties. None of us are native Tennesseans. On one side the family is from Crowell, Texas. Coincidentally, that is only 22 miles from my hometown of Quanah. We share a ‘cow country’, panhandle culture…sagebrush and dust! On the other side, a woman who is Lebanese is married to a man from Boston. My husband is half Lebanese, and shares a Middle Eastern culture with her…dark shots of Arabic espresso; skewered lamb and grape leaves and deep understandings of hospitality. It is 6330 miles from Beirut to Nashville. One house further on is home to Canadians, Montreal being a mere 1094 miles away. Our Canadian friends have a cupcake business and are French-Canadian. I thought I might canvas the entire housing development to see what other nationalities are represented! Here, at least, there are no insiders and outsiders. We all bring our backgrounds and experiences to the table and hopefully, in some manner, feed one another.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- How might the melting pot of the United States shape your experience of other cultures you encounter here in Nashville and the surrounding areas?
- In what ways can you see our community as the composite and beloved people of Christ?
- What shared similarities really matter?
God of Everyone, Everywhere, bless our shapes and colors and accents and clothing and food and habits of worship…all that you have showered on us! When we meet and greet one another, let us look first into the eyes of your son or daughter, seeking your presence. May I share the peace that Christ has given me on my daily round. Amen.