God’s joining-back-together-place

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, August 11, 2019

By: David May

Sometimes, I’m too interested in what’s coming next.  So, when Ashley Cameron mentioned that I might write a reflection to mark my arrival at St. Mary’s a year ago, I said ‘sure, ok,’ but inwardly found myself balking. Inside I thought: “I don’t want to write a ‘my first year at St. Mary’s’ reflection.”  (Let me be clear, that’s not what Ashley suggested!  But I guess that’s what I heard.)

What I am interested in is what’s around the next corner for St. Mary’s. I believe the theme of “connecting” is the working of the Spirit among us that has been coming into view in these past months. It seems to be a word that we’re using a lot these days and seems to have found a home here.

Two interesting ideas lie behind this word ‘connecting’ that do have a little poetry in them. First, the Latin for ‘connecting’ means ‘binding or joining together’. The Latin is also related to ‘ligare’ which also means binding or joining. ‘Ligare’ is where we get the word ‘ligament’ (the stuff that joins bones together), and – surprisingly – ‘religion’. ‘Religion’ (re-ligare) is the human pursuit to be joined back together with God. Maybe this word ‘connecting’ that seems to be peppering our words and thoughts these days is really about cooperating with God to make St. Mary’s God’s joining-back-together-place.

I think that’s probably right. That seems to be the kind of thing that God is always up to.  God is always working to join us back together – to connect us – with that deepest sense of who we are: his beloved children whose hearts are the place where Jesus said the Father and the Son will come and make their home.  As we come, by grace, to be connected to that deepest, truest sense of who we are – to be found in Christ – we will find ourselves connecting more to people near and far, to those who are easy to love and to those who are not, to people like ourselves and people different than us.

I couldn’t be more grateful to God to be here at St. Mary’s – how can it be a year?!  I’m so glad and hopeful for what in God’s hands is around the next corner in this joining-back-together-place.