Our work at The Open Door @ urbanmission involves the invitation to live into the vulnerability of seeing people; seeing them again, seeing them as God sees them. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged us in this way. The civil rights movement was, in many ways, a struggle to see people differently, to gain a new perspective. We continue to be challenged by this, challenged to look beyond our limited perspective of prejudgement and see ourselves and others as God sees us. We are called to see and be seen. Perhaps this is the real work of the Church; taking the time to see others. Of course there is a time for looking into the mirror. Socrates did say, "the unexamined life is not worth living." There is a time and place for self reflection, the action of which is tremendously valuable. But, if we stare too long, there is the danger of becoming like Narcissus. The danger being, that we stay to long at the river's bank, that we die there, never able to attain the object of our desire. Perhaps the Church has stayed too long, mesmerized by its own reflection, having fallen so in love with itself that it has no time for anyone else. The object of the Church's desire is to live as Jesus did, to love and serve humanity. Yet, we cannot do this if we remain planted at the river bank. Yes, it is the river of self reflection and meditation that nourishes our roots, but our branches must grow and extend beyond. Let us move from the river, and make our way into the highways and byways.
Let us not be afraid to stare lovingly into the eyes of every stranger we meet, knowing that they long to be seen just as we long to be seen. let us fall in love with the reflection we see there; the reflection of Christ found in the face over every stranger we see.
Pastor Stephen Patten
From the Mountain is a 'cyber sanctuary' where sermons and other musings are posted for the general consumption of a larger community. Feel free to reflect on them as you wish. You are welcome to leave comments below with thoughts, insights, and/or questions.