Rev. Carlos Malavé, associate for ecumenical relations of the PCUSA, preached at Austin Presbyterian Seminary this morning.
Carlos stood in the pulpit and asked,
How many Gods are there?
There is one God.
…Then there must be one Church.
As we as Christians have divided and divided, and continue to divide ourselves into like-minded groups gathered around righteousness, certainty of doctrine, and motivated by sincere efforts to keep the Gospel, it is right that we should ask ourselves, What God are we following?
Our Gospel tells us of Jesus’ desire that his followers be One. The Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles are full of stories of the sin of not caring for the whole community. Yet we seem to have trouble holding on to this notion of holding on to one another. Not one of us on this planet is born exactly the same as another human being, yet we seem continuously surprised – and offended—when others turn out to think and act differently from us.
What is it about us that demands uniformity? Why do we seem to think that everyone who belongs to a particular group must belong in precisely the same way?
Let’s try this…
God has made each of us in God’s image. We are all different. God is rich, diverse, whole, comprehensive.
There is one God. There is one Church. The Church is thus meant to be rich, diverse, whole, comprehensive.
Do we trust in the power of God enough to do the work it takes to live in this messy community of Church?