Dear beloved in Christ,
I was speaking to a Trinity parishioner earlier this week and as we were talking about our community she spoke of the need to relax into being who we are. This phrase captured my imagination and I cannot think of a more apt description of what we need to do this fall. Too often we fall into a trap thinking that more effort equals better results, but this idea of relaxing into being pushes against that narrative. Maybe it’s not about working harder, starting more new initiatives, or finding volunteers. Maybe it’s about being more truly who we are, letting ourselves settle into being the most Trinity we can be.
At the very core of our being we are beloved creatures created by God in the divine image. No matter how hard we work or how many tasks we accomplish, we cannot make ourselves into this, because this is who we already are. It is not an achievement we can make happen, rather it is something we can live more deeply into, becoming a truer form of who we are through a more thorough realization of who we are in relation to God. We are not called to force ourselves into being, but to relax into being more profoundly who we are at our core: God’s beloved children.
While individually we are God’s children, when we come together in prayer, worship, and fellowship we are transformed into the body of Christ. We belong to each other, depend on each other, and are part of each other. In using the metaphor of the body, Paul suggests that we are so interconnected that, “if one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it (1 Cor. 12:26).” The church at its core is a collection of individuals that form one body which is the body of Christ here on earth; the body that proclaims new life, loves and welcomes all, and is together in both grief and joy.
I cannot help but wonder if what we are craving is not something we have to become, but something we already are and just have to relax into. There is so much joy to be found in coming together as the body of Christ each week. In celebrating one among us, we all celebrate. In the sharing of a burden, all of our burdens lighten. Together we accomplish more than any individual can: feeding the hungry, burying those whom we love, baptizing the youngest among us, supporting refugees, lifting our voices in song, learning how to live in right relationship with God and each other, and I could keep the list going. We are the body of Christ here on Elm Street in Concord; rejoice!
My dear friends, I invite you to relax into what you truly are. Not a giving up, but an uncovering of what is at the core of ourselves. Let us delight in one another and the God who created us and loves us.