May 17 Discussion

What a good discussion this morning!  We managed to tie  all four lessons together .  Starting with the Acts passage and concluding that we’re called to be open to the spirit in others who live beyond the fences of our traditions.  We are to do it receiving God’s love and sharing in all our encounters.  It was described as a cycling of love from God, to each other, and back to God.  The love Jesus commanded, as a friend and not a master, was “agape” love, a spiritual kind of love, not brotherly love.  Language can be a barrier or a bridge in communicating love. You have to get past the words to the spirit/truth they convey (as with African school children hearing the repetitive phrases of a story read in English having learned the phrases in their own language).  Everyone hears the spirit in his own language.  The key is to respect our differences as we understand the truth we share.  Even the psalm for the day seemed to lend itself to the idea of praise lifting us beyond boundaries. ‘ Psalms scholar Walter Brueggeman explains praise for us:  “All life is aimed toward God.  Praise articulates and embodies our capacity to yield, submit, and abandon ourselves in trust and gratitude to the One whose we are…We have a resilient hunger to move beyond self. God is addressed not because we nave need, but simply because God is God.” ‘ James Howell