The heart of the Christian Gospel is that God so loved us all that One was sent in God’s stead to prove that love (John 3:16, loosely paraphrased). Put another way, the Christian God is a “One for All” kind of deity.
Amidst all the controversy and uncertainty surrounding the recent United Methodist Judicial Council decision regarding the election of Karen Oliveto to the episcopacy, she issued this statement, quoted in the New York Times: “I am very grateful that I get to return home to the Mountain Sky area to continue the work we’ve begun there … I know there are people that are very upset that I’m a bishop in the church, but I’m committed to being a bishop that cares for them and prays for them and loves them. Because one part of the body of Christ cannot tell another, we have no need of you.”
That quote is reminiscent of something Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth: “The eye cannot say to the hand: ‘I have no need of you.'” (I Corinthians 12:12-26.)
No one human being can be all things to all people (though St. Paul might have us try!); but perhaps today we will find ourselves in the company of a person or a group of people with whom we vehemently disagree, whose lifestyle is not consistent with our own deeply held beliefs. In the spirit of Christ (and St. Paul, and Bishop Oliveto, and Gandalf/Tolkien!), remember that it is likely that we need them. And whether they know it or not, they need us.
A blessed Tuesday.