Refreshing Unity

At times, there are two or three,
or perhaps fifty to sixty,
gathered in God’s name
when a thick cloud of holiness
falls upon them while the
choir sings “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.”

This other time, roads are blocked
and police keep watch while two
thousand people gather
in mass on September 11, 2022.
We breathe and remember
hushed as the Spirit brings healing and love.

Reflectively, we hum
“Bridge Over Troubled Water”
along with this chorus
who figured out a while ago
that our One God loves
every single person magnificently.

Sneakers, straw hats, and baseball
caps are seen beginning the
dance of the pilgrimage
encircling Abraham’s Bridge where
Jewish, Christian, and
Muslim faiths are unified in Love.

Psalm 133 (CEB)

Look at how good and pleasing it is
when families[a] live together as one!
2 It is like expensive oil poured over the head,
running down onto the beard—
Aaron’s beard!—
which extended over the collar of his robes.
3 It is like the dew on Mount Hermon
streaming down onto the mountains of Zion,
because it is there that the Lord has commanded the blessing:
everlasting life.

Rooted in Love

When at peace with myself, the idea of world peace being possible seems more likely. Yet, when my insides are in turmoil and all I can do is put my head in my hands, horrified at what I’ve said or done, I am able to understand more fully why peace seems more difficult.

In despair, I place my whole self in the hands of God. It is then that returning to loving myself and others becomes possible once again.

Forgiveness, one of the vital pieces of living a life of faithfulness, often begins with the observance of nature. If for a moment we are in awe of the phases of the moon, the sunrise and sunset, and thousands of green blades of grass growing, we are distracted from our troubles and anger may be released. Pulling weeds and trimming branches is a cathartic action that can lead to forgiveness!

Last week my husband and I saw the tree that is certified as being the oldest in Nebraska. In its thick, heavily knotted trunk, the three large branches are not symmetrical. However imperfect, they are still strong enough to withstand nearly 500 years of storms, drought, and winds.

God has built us in a similar way. When we reach our arms up in prayer and extend our roots into the ground, we are renewed and refreshed, prepared to live in love and peace.

Know that we pray for you with thanksgiving and in peace.

God’s awesome love resides within you and me.
Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here:  Devotional MW 2022-09-14