The Light Within
by Matt Reece
Galatians 3:23-29: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” vs. 27-28
God calls us to unity in Christ Jesus. This is not as simple as it sounds, for if we are to be unified as the body of Christ, we have to look beyond the boundaries and walls the world draws around and between us, and celebrate that of God in every person.
Paul writes to the Galatians to reconnect with them, and to remind them that they have come to believe through the gift of faith, rather than through acts of obedience to the law. This passage is the conclusion of a literary argument in which Paul references several promises and prophecies from scripture to show that the distinctions made between races, socioeconomic classes, and gender don’t apply when Christ enters the equation.
I grew up, and was confirmed, in the Quaker church. One of the principal tenets of the Society of Friends is that the inner light of God exists in every person. When we see one another, and those we encounter in our neighborhood and world, as children of God first, the boundaries and walls melt away. When we celebrate that of God in the other, we must also serve one another and our community as a reflection of God within us.
To find God within yourself, be still and wait upon the Holy Spirit. To find God within another, look beyond appearance and labels, listen, trust, and know that person as a beloved child of God.
Heavenly Father, we are thankful for the gift of faith. Help us to find and celebrate your presence in our lives, and in the lives of our church and community.
Bring us to a stillness of heart that allows the Holy Spirit to wash over us, and fill us with your light and your grace.
Break down the walls that we have built around ourselves, and that the world builds between us, so that we might join our hands and hearts in service to your kingdom, your creation, and your children.
God, this is the day you have made.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may rejoice and be glad in it.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may surrender to you my agenda and to-do list.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may receive today your love from the ones you have blessed to give it to me.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may share today your love with the ones you have blessed me to give it to.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I, all people, and all creation may be awake and ready for the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ, and the glorious end of days.