Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. How do you feel right now? Are you happy? Are you anxious? Are you feeling the spirit of God? As you identify your current emotions, take a breath, then another. Inhale deeply, exhale to the fullest amount you can. Now breathe in again – easy and relaxed. Let’s center our thoughts and our focus on God and walk together spiritually for a moment.
I come to the close of my Saturday feeling tired, with aching feet and an exhausted mind. But I am full of joy. That’s the most satisfying of feelings. Exhausted, but filled with deep satisfaction, love, and renewed spirit. Within our faith community, we tried something new today – a new expression of exploring Christ’s mission is our mission. A group of Community of Christ members and friends went to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, with the intent to learn, question, embrace and be challenged in mission and social justice issues.
Within the culture of the First People of the Americas, we found pure truths that match Community of Christ’s Enduring Principle Sacredness of Creation. We witnessed in this history of Native Americans the honor and respect for the land, the sky, the waters and the living creatures that inhabit this amazing planet. I found myself being drawn in awe and reverence to a new spiritual relationship with God’s creation. But I also was reminded of the vulnerability we are facing with limited natural resources and the real evidence of climate change. With the amazing gifts of nature comes amazing responsibility.
I also found Native American history painful, heartbreaking, and even agonizing. My mind turns again to more of Community of Christ’s Enduring Principles, the Worth of All Persons and Unity in Diversity, and I question how people in U.S. leadership could have made such inhumane decisions. What about the Enduring Principle ‘Responsible Choices’? How did our governing leadership miss the ‘Blessings of Community’, another Enduring Principle we profess?
We gathered together after this trip to reflect on all that we had learned and what it meant to each of us and to us as a community. We asked ourselves hard questions. What will we do, individually and collectively, with what we have learned? What is our role as a community of believers in challenging these things?
I wish I could offer you a list of the profound and concrete answers we came up with. We did not create such a list. We still face these challenging questions. But we do have a better understanding and appreciation of the challenge we face with Community of Christ’s Mission Prayer: "God, where will your spirit lead me today? Help me to be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen "
We experienced “Mission at the Museum” and pray for discernment as we search for ways that we as a community of believers can make a difference.
Author: Bonnie Barber
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.