“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid”, he says a little later. John 14:27 Words of comfort to the disciples at the Last Supper. We would surely prefer to not be troubled or afraid, but the world we live in gives us plenty to be troubled about and afraid of. If we’re not troubled or afraid, at least sometimes, we’re not paying attention.
Our Psalm for this morning [Ps. 31]: “In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge…” And another Psalm: “My soul clings to you…” In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge…my soul clings to you, O Lord. The main thing in our religion is not the ‘what’ or the ‘how’ or the ‘when’, it’s the You-You with a capital Y. We cling to You, we take refuge in You, O Lord.
Our religion, at its best, is about God, about our relationship to God. But religion per se is not God. “In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge,” the Psalmist says-not in my religious practise, not in my religious beliefs. In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge. It’s the “you”, it’s God himself that is the object of our searching, the object of our desire, the culmination of our deepest aspirations. Religion is how we got there. A means to an end. That which points to something greater.
If there is a You component of our faith, a You we cling to, a You we take refuge in, there is also a We. We come before the You as a We. We come before the You as a We even when we’re alone. We’ve been given to one another in the Body of Christ, as the Body of Christ. We don’t stand along.
Can we cling to the We? Can we take refuge in the We? We are less than God, to be sure. But as the Body of Christ the We has a very special place in the scheme of things. We who have been given to one another as the Body of Christ—and if we are the Body of Christ, we are the presence of Christ to one another. Even if he seems to have gone missing.
You, We – Br. Mark Brown, SSJE