Being the Church

A Monday Meditation for June 1, 2020

Meditation- a beginning


“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

- a post on Instagram from @thegirlfriendmanifesto


“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”

- Alan Cohen


It’s the day after Pentecost. The Spirit has arrived and is living and weaving among us. And now it’s time to take the first step of Being the Church. Pentecost is often described as the birth of the Church, the moment when the Spirit came and settled on people from all over the world. It’s called the Birth of the Church because this is the moment when the disciples took that first step into the unknown. They didn’t exactly have a guidebook or detailed agenda. They simply knew it was time to get to work. With one foot in front of the other the disciples told the stories of Jesus. They shared the stories of what they had experienced--blessings, teaching, and healing. They didn’t know nor could they have anticipated what would follow after their first steps. But nonetheless, they moved forward.


It may be thousands of years later, but on June 1st 2020 we are in a similar context. It’s a scary and confusing time in the midst of a pandemic and a revolution for racial justice. Understandably, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Start with scripture and story. What does Jesus teach us? To love. How do we love our neighbor? What is love asking of us in this moment? How can I respond?

These are questions with which we each need to wrestle. Like the disciples, we don’t know where or how this will shape us and history. We may not feel well equipped. If you’re unsure of where to start, here’s my recommendation: listen. Listen to what is being said. Listen to what is being asked. Listen to someone’s experience. Just stop and listen. It’s the first step to any conflict resolution, and it’s the first step toward building relationships. Jesus did that a lot. He listened to people’s stories and suffering. We can start there, too.

And perhaps, after we listen, after we learn to hear God in a new way--just as they did on Pentecost, then perhaps the next right step will be clear. Listen to the Spirit and listen to each other.