They meet and they pray
All is familiar yet not
For I am a guest
Am visiting Western Yearly meeting this year. There is a family resemblance between Yearly Meetings, however there is also a feeling of being at someone else’s family reunion. Am praying that they find their way forward, in spite of budget shortfalls, reduced membership, and some meetings withdrawing from the Yearly meeting.
Personally, I am full of hope for Western, they are both Urban and Rural. They are both well off upper class, and working class people, and they are, in worship style, both programmed and unprogrammed. Western Yearly meeting crosses social boundaries that many organizations do not. If Western can learn to thrive, then they have something to share with our divided world.
In Ephesians chapter 2 Paul wrote about the social divide between the Hebrew Christians and the Greek Christians:
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, 15 when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, 16 and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. (NET)
Today, we still have so many divisions — sometimes we are divided by politics, saying that others must accept a political party in order to be counted as Christian. Sometimes we divide ourselves with money, keeping out the poor, or putting the rich in a place of honor. We divide ourselves in many ways — Western Yearly meeting cuts across lines, even though our society does not cross these lines peacefully. If Western can find in what ways Christ is our peace — then Western Yearly meeting has found a message that speaks to the condition of our nation. I am praying and I am optimistic.