We will practice racial, gender, and other forms of reconciliation wherever we find sinful and destructive walls of division between people
-From the MWF Rule of Life
The first toy I ever remember playing with as a child was a glass triangular prism. I used to lie on the ground by the window on sunny days and play with the prism, refracting the light that was coming through the sun onto different surfaces. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I would shine the light into the eyes of my older siblings and parents. What captivated me most about this tiny, seemingly insignificant glass object was how the light could be refracted and present an array of colors that could change shape.
Our faith, and our relationship to God and one another, is not so different from a small triangular glass prism. We are created in God’s light (God’s image), and, through free will, we can choose to refract God’s image in different and vibrant ways. This is ultimately the work of the Spirit through the lens of our human existence. As humans, we have certain ways in which we can respond to using this refractive light that God has created in us. We can refract God’s image in good ways, giving witness to God’s grace at work through loving one another, and we can refract God’s image in not so good ways.
First, the not so good—we as humans can manipulate these gifts of free will and light that God has created and instilled within each of us. This is sin. Sin is choosing to distort God’s light knowingly. In the process of choosing such a distortion, we can lose sight of one another and of of God’s light, which can lead us into darkness. When we lose sight of other people and cannot see the goodness and light that God has placed within each of us, we are susceptible to sin.
Now, the good—which is that God created us with a natural disposition to exist for one another. God created us to exist as beautiful and complex expressions of God’s creation, with light radiating through us as we seek to live for one another. In one of the creation accounts, God observes how “It is not good…” for the human to be alone, without an equal partner (Genesis 2:18). Today, when we find ourselves isolated from other people, we are not fully whole. We need God. We need each other. We were created by God to be for each other.
In community, when we make room to be led by God’s refractive Spirit, light and color will find us, even in the dark places. The reality is, there are many dark places in this life and in the world around us, but the amazing thing about you and me is that God chooses to instill us with a reflection of who God is: love.
Because we have this love as a part of our being, we are called to nurture it’s light and find ways that we can refract it with other people with God’s guidance. This is the kind of love we read about in 1 John, “Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and [God’s] love is perfected in us.” (1 John. 4:11-12).
While we may be far from perfect, God’s love is perfect, and part of that love resides within us. How we choose to take up practices of reconciliation wherever we see love being distorted, there exists God’s presence. In these moments of encountering sin and distortion, God’s presence is actively at work, extending to us fragments of light that, when pieced together through loving means, can serve as a witness, a divine display of color, shining God’s perfect love.
Invitation to Missional Mindfulness:
What has been your approach to addressing the issue of sin within community?
What stories of refracting God’s light as a means of reconciliation, have you experienced?
We hope you are enjoying our study of the Missional Wisdom Foundation Rule of Life. This is our last week to focus on The Rule. This way of life continually blesses us in many ways and we hope that you, our Dispersed Community, have been able to share in that blessing. If you would like a very nice, framable copy of the MWF Rule of Life, you can find several options in our Merchandise Store.