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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Circle


Lift up your eyes and fix them on the place beyond the horizon to which you are sent. Journey in trust, assured that the great and marvelous work is for this time and for all time.

Claim your unique and sacred place within the circle of those who call upon the name of Jesus Christ. Be faithful to the spirit of the Restoration, mindful that it is a spirit of adventure, openness, and searching. Walk proudly and with a quickened step. Be a joyful people. Laugh and play and sing, embodying the hope and freedom of the gospel. (Doctrine and Covenants 161:1)

One of the wonderful things about scripture is that it can speak to us in so many different ways. It may speak in one voice on one occasion, but bring a quite different understanding at a later time. The prophetic books in the Hebrew Scriptures, for instance, were written for one group of people, set in their culture with their particular set of problems, issues and circumstance, and yet the same text can often speak to us today. We contemplate the ideas expressed by the prophets with an eye to understanding their issues, but also listen to how the words may speak to us in our day and time.

Similarly, the concepts within a particular text may speak to an individual, a congregation, the entire church, or the global population!

In recent years we have learned to appreciate the insights that can be gleaned from the scriptures through the spiritual practice of Dwelling in the Word. During one of the worship times at the recent CPI retreat, we were invited to dwell in D.&C. 161:1 shown above. I have understood this passage as being addressed to the entire Community of Christ. See this way, verse 1b of the text challenges the church to claim its unique and sacred place within the circle of those who call upon the name of Jesus Christ. During those moments of contemplation, I began to consider the challenge in this text from a slightly different direction.

What if we applied those words on a personal level? What if the words were addressed, not to the corporate body but to you or me? What if we are individually challenged to claim our unique and sacred place within the circle? The suggestion would be that there is a unique place, a sacred place in the circle just for you, or for me. It would be a place that nobody else could fill. Yours would be a voice within the circle with which no one else could speak. The circle would be stronger because you were there, or weaker without you.

Similarly, how would it be if we were to challenge members or friends to step up and claim their own unique and sacred place in the circle? Are there post-congregational persons, perhaps youth or young adults who are passionate about peace and justice that need to be invited to participate in the Canadian National Conference? Are there people who care about feeding the hungry who should be invited to participate in or lead congregational efforts to abolish poverty and end suffering? Are there members and friends who work for peace that need to be nominated for the Canadian National Conference Peace Award? (Note: its not too late; we are still accepting nominations even though the website says the deadline is March 1, 2012.)

It is worth thinking about. Is there someone you need to invite to claim their unique and sacred place in the circle? Have you claimed your place?

Posted by Carman

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