Holy Creator and Redeemer of all, perhaps one of the most audacious claims we can make occurs when we claim to understand You more than we really do.
Dear God, any time we act like we have You all figured out remind us only Jesus of Nazareth sees You clearly.
Holy Mystery of Agape made known in Jesus of Nazareth, every time we become tempted to judge a sister or brother based upon limited perceptions of You, give us the courage to get to know the persons we want to label. Replace suspicious labels like traditional, conservative, liberal, progressive, fundamentalist, centrist, and so on... with the desire to get to know the sisters and brothers we are tempted to categorize. Help us ask questions like: "Tell me the life stories that shape who you are." Help us listen and really get to know one another.
Holy Spirit, remind us one of the ways the triune God leads us into truth occurs when we care enough to enter into friendships with persons who have radically different opinions and world views. Remind us of 1 Corinthians 13:13, "These things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love." (N.L.T. of The Bible). True love outlasts knowledge.
When persons we tend to categorize as lesser than realize we truly care enough about them to get to know them and respect their viewpoints, perhaps they will invite we who claim to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth to share with them stories of life that shape us.
Perhaps caring will open the door for us to share: "Here's a story that reveals what I was like before I entered into a life changing relationship with Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ." "Here's a story about what happened when I fell deeper in love with Jesus." "Here's a story about why I feel so much more fulfilled now."
Indeed, one way we enter into the mystery of holy love occurs when we let go of our temptations to cut off people we don't like before we have the courage to get to know them.
Is it possible that the Creator who made us all binds humanity together in ways we don't understand? Is it possible we see more clearly what God is like when we dare to let go of categorizations and learn true love?
In some mysterious way are we some how, some way, partially responsible for serving like a midwife assisting with each other's new creation birth?
What would the world be like if every follower of Jesus embodied the prayer, "Giver of all new life, empower and equip me to be a midwife of your Spirit. Give me the courage to dare to be an instrument of new birth. Give me the courage to be still and wait with a sister or brother who cries out anguish while awaiting deliverance to deeper love and connection.
Give me the courage to patiently wait out the shouts that come our way when someone we love is about to become more like Jesus. Help us dare to become more like Jesus with them!"