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The One Anothers St. Raphael Episcopal Church

The “One Anothers”

The past few months have been seeing us coming, sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes gingerly, together on Sundays for worship. We have welcomed a wonderful new Choir and Music Director, Clif Cason, and we are making plans for a renewed choir and children’s ministry to restart on Sept 5. We have revived and rebuilt new teams for worship, planned mission and social events for renewed involvement together, and we are moving forward.

My son’s wedding fills my thoughts in August! The Gospel they have chosen for their wedding in John 10, and the verse, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ is wonderful affirmation of love, though it is, I think, a tall order for all our human relationships. It is both an instruction and a command, with an end goal of unity, love, humility, as well as a good ‘how to’ for the life of every community, whatever the shape, size, or purpose. Every Sunday, in-person or online, we hear Jesus’ ‘new’ commandment to ‘love one another.’ I recently found a fun infographic that lists, along with ‘carry one another’s burdens’, ‘forgive one another’, one hundred other ‘one another’s’ in the New Testament.

Apparently, 47 of those are given as instructions to the followers of Jesus, and 60% are given as commands by Paul.

One third deals with unity in the church: be at peace, don’t grumble, be of the same mind, accept, wait, don’t bite or envy, tolerate, forgive, seek good, confess to one another.

  • One third instructs us on the meaning of loving one another: love, serve, tolerate, greet, be devoted to one another.
  • 15% instruct us on humility in our relationships: wash feet, serve, be subject, honor, prefer, regard one another.
  • And the rest: don’t judge, encourage, speak truth, pray, teach, admonish, sing, don’t lie, be hospitable to one another.

Seems to me that these ‘one anothers’ provide a road map for all the bumps in the road, all the twists and turns, valleys and high grounds that community life offers. And worth the effort and time we choose to work with these ‘one anothers.’ My dad used to say, ‘don’t worry about the others – you can only change yourself.’ There’s truth in that, but the greater truth is that as people of faith and in our faith community of St Raphael’s, the Spirit is also active in revealing who we are, and who we are becoming. And that understanding is part of the peace, joy and healing that we know when we welcome one another to participate in the life of our church and community.

Love one another!
Rev Helen

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