Weekly Reflection, Friday, June 4
By: Emily Bruch
Jesus stands as an image of unity. He reveals the division in our lives, the houses that cannot stand, and the crumbling of our kingdoms and offers a different life of unity, wholeness, and integration. He puts our lives and houses back in order.
In the past year and a half, we have experienced a lot of division and inner conflict in the world and in our lives. We have lived in quarantine away from loved ones, our daily activities, and our church home. We have seen political division grow farther apart. And we have been a part of the beginning of a major social justice movement. As our lives are starting to feel more normal, we are faced with many new challenges. Do we still wear our mask at the grocery store even if we are vaccinated? What is it like to have conversations with strangers? And how do we act in restaurants with a menu on our phone? As we re-enter into society, we are met with a new internal dialogue to make decisions of how we would like to reemerge.
Our lives seem to be a bit more divided than ever before. This division and inner conflict can produce stress, anxiety, and fear. But through all this division, St. Mary’s rose out of the fear and anxiety into unity. Though each of our lives are on different paths with our own thoughts and opinions, we have not let these differences divide us. We came together in new ways to worship, to support one another, and to reach out a lending hand to the surrounding community. The work St. Mary’s has done and is still called to do is remarkable!
I am grateful to have been able to experience this same sense of unity that St. Mary’s offers. When moving from Virginia Beach to Richmond, I was so excited to be back in my hometown near family and old friends. Little did I know that I would be gaining a whole other family along this adventure. The St. Mary’s staff is the most hardworking, kindhearted, and downright fun group of people that I know. Through their individual gifts and talents, they work together living into the full body of Christ. St. Mary’s parishioners are dedicated to their church family, creating an all-welcoming community. You know without a doubt that when you come onto this campus on a Sunday morning you will be greeted with all the smiling, familiar faces. And the youth of St. Mary’s are filled with spirit, curiosity, and compassion. Each and every one of these young minds has been created to make an impact in this world.
This is a house with a strong foundation, that stands strong together, and cannot be divided. St. Mary’s will forever remain as an image of unity.