United we are stronger. There have been so many different reminders of the positive power of drawing together this week - President Joe Biden’s inaugural speech; this week’s prayer focus on Christian Unity; evidence of flood defence teams in our area springing into action. Globally, nationally and locally the world is made such a better place when people share a common desire to unite rather than to divide.
Joe Biden called his country to unite around dignity and respect for all peoples - all races, creeds and cultures. Reverend Father Leo Jeremiah O’Donovan continued that love’s path is to give more of itself rather than take power for itself. Love motivates us to put others’ needs before our own. Amanda Gorman encouraged unity and togetherness with the beautifully crafted words of her poem and Biden reinforced her spoken message with a commitment to act, and a desire to rejoin the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organisation.
Churches too have been setting this week aside to pray for unity across denominations. Jesus prayed that we would be united to God and with one another, just as he and the Father and the Holy Spirit are gracefully united. The essence of relational unconditional love, which brims with a desire to love passionately, heal divisions, care for the most vulnerable and seek justice for the forgotten and voiceless, is the love that is God.
The mystery and beauty and otherness of God inspires us to embrace the fullness of divine love as we live in community with one another; when we build one another up, preferring the needs of others before our own but in the self same moment being cherished in the same way. In this place of generosity we work together, motivated and empowered by a love outside of our own. My clumsy description of God the Trinity is put more elegantly in Richard Rohr’s book called The Divine Dance: Face-to-Face-to-Face, Community, Love for the Other and Love for the Other’s Love, Self giving, Loving, Singing, Laughter, A fourth is created, Ever-loved and loving.
We have seen love in action in the community this week. People have cherished the lonely, they have given practical help to those in need and solutions have been sought for the good of our communities in the face of the threat of flooding. The respect and kindness shown is just beautiful.
Out of many one! It sounds easy and yet the reality is sometimes that we hold onto what we have for fear of losing it. Yet, our resources are always larger if we throw what we have into the mix and especially as we invite God in prayer to work in and through us.