June 25, 2014

Looking for Opportunities to Find and Share Grace

Where I work, we have a wonderful library with many very old books and other publications from early in our denomination's history. Yesterday, a group of us went to explore and take a peak at what all there is. We saw Bibles, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, concordances, and more from the 16th through 19th centuries. Some were still covered in the original vellum. Others were falling apart.

That was interesting enough, but even more so was how the different people noticed different things. One of us noted the detailed engravings, one pointed out the quality of the rag paper, a couple could actually read the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew text, another observed the overall design of the pages. And we all remarked on the quality and the ability of these books to stand the test of time.

The point is that it took all of us to really "see." Taking into account our different perspectives made the experience richer, more meaningful. And just because the colors on the page called out to me didn't take away from those who noticed the words on the page first. In fact, we probably could have used even more expertise in order to fill out the experience even more.

In the church, each person's viewpoint offers a different perspective. And it takes all to get a full picture, but we must remember that even a full picture is not necessarily a complete picture. Only God can offer that.

As we reflect on our UM Annual Conferences, there were many issues, some of which may seem intractable. But as complete a picture as we might think we have, none of us have the total picture. And who is looking also says a lot about what they see. I'm always going to notice the color; just like someone else will always notice the page layout.

Regarding the issues concerning homosexuality, those who think "split" will predict it. Those who want unity, will find ways to achieve it. None of us has the complete picture about homosexuality or anything else. What's why we all need to go to God together in prayer. Perhaps, like good Wesleyans, we should be looking for more opportunities to find and share grace.


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