Meditation written by Cathy Tamsberg.
Read by Erin Newton.
Hanging alongside the Cross of Nails in the tiny theological reading room of the CCN Centre in Sibiu/Hermannstadt, Romania, is this prayer:
Lord, make us one.
Do not make us like them,
Do not make them like us,
But make us all more like you. Amen.
Reconciliation among people who are different can be a challenging obstacle to peace in our world. The topic of diversity and how we respond to it is a critical issue in an increasingly multicultural United States. Interfaith dialogue is a goal of most progressive people of faith, but the issue of how much we should retain our distinctiveness in this dialogue is also challenging. So this prayer seems like a good word for us today. I don’t need to be just like you nor do you need to be just like me in order for us to share common goals for our communities and our world. But seeing the sacred in each other is essential. So is behavior that is more gracious that what passes for much interaction in our culture.
In his book about CCN, Oliver Schuegraf points out that hospitality is one step on the way to real dialogue with people who are different from us. Benedictine spirituality would say the same. So today you might ponder where you find relationships difficult because of differences between you and others. Then think about what Christ-like qualities would help bridge those differences. In the words of Stephan, a pastor from a CCN partner in Germany, “Jesus isn’t the fulfiller of our wishes—unless our wishes are what God wants.” What does God want for you today? for our world?
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.