Hello!, and welcome to a brief pause in your day for relaxation, reflection and refreshment.

In Morning Prayer today, we had one of my favorite passages from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. (12:12-26). Let me read a portion of it to you:

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members own the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again, the head to the feet? ”I have no need of you.” ….. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it, and if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

For Paul, the image is the body, the human body, which he extends to mean the whole body of humanity. He comes at this “membership” in the body in two ways. First he says there is no use comparing yourself to another part of the body. There is no way by your insecurity or your arrogance that you can take yourself out of the body. You belong. Secondly, there is no point in considering anyone else disposable or dispensable, we cannot cast anyone out. They belong, too.

In this time of pandemic, even as we are the most isolated we can be, where we feel separation so keenly, perhaps this is when we recognize how inseparably linked we are. We are all in this together. We have to let go of some of our defenses—our attitudes and prejudices and angers against others—and hear clearly the opening of one of my favorite collects for mission. “O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth….”

I have been fortunate enough to travel a great deal, and I have had the further privilege of living and serving among people from many ethnic backgrounds different from mine. I know that this has opened my mind to understand things in ways I never even considered before. I also know that the more I reflected on this in my life, the more it has opened my heart.

Take some time today to reflect on the people and experiences you have had that have most grown your soul and opened your heart. Yes, think of parents, teachers and mentors you have had, and dwell there for a while if that warms your heart. Go further, search your memory for experiences with people who were foreign to you in any way—ethnicity, class, language, culture, etc.—and recall people whose differences from you were initially annoying or even more, but where something happened in the relationship from which you both learned to know and care about each other deeply. Those are times when you were drinking from one Spirit. Those experiences grow us up. Praise God!

Stay safe, seek wellness and wholeness, and enjoy your day. Gaze on all the daffodils.