Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +13)

THE COMMUNITY THAT LIES BETWEEN
(Matthew 18: 15-20)

Somewhere between what is
and what will be,
between this present world
and a world redeemed,

somewhere between
the world of resentment and rage
and a world at peace, sharing fullness of life,

somewhere on the journey to
the yet-to-come
lies the community of love in Christ,

where brother and sister
meet one another
as equals in the sight of God,
where the joys of one
are the joys of all,
the concerns of one
are concerns of all,
where acceptance is given
and received –

yet also where
views will painfully diverge,
where desires will differ
and divide;
where our human faults
will hurt and harm,
where we fracture
along fault-lines of pride.

We are redeemed
yet remain imperfect,
united in Christ yet
individuals to the end.
And so we need a little help
in our community of hope:
we need the reminder that where
even two of us meet,
Christ is there,
our Saviour, in our midst.

And his are the words
that can lead to healing,
that guide us to seek reconciliation,
that nudge us toward
God’s peace.

Unity begins with acceptance,
builds on hope,
is nourished by caring,
grows stronger through celebration.
But unity also can require
hard work,
the work of listening
to one another’s story,
hearing one another’s pain,
granting one another forgiveness –
and for that we are given
God’s grace.

Therefore
somewhere between what is
and what will be,
between this present world
and a world redeemed,

somewhere on the journey
to the yet-to-come
lies our community of love in Christ.

May we model to the world, so fractured,
that community gathered at his table.

May we model to a world
so in need of healing
his presence among us to save.

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