“When I am with a group of human beings committed to hanging in there through both the agony and the joy of community, I have a dim sense that I am participating in a phenomenon for which there is only one word...."glory." M. Scott Peck
This morning I think of groups I am in, especially a Wednesday morning book group who has meet for more years than I can remember. We started in one church as an Education for Ministry or EfM group who later morphed into a Disciples of Christ in Community or DOCC Transforming the Literature of the Bible study group. We moved to other churches as the bishop reassigned me and continually collected different members. We continued to read contemporary literature and scripture and looked for patterns in the lives of those of our Judeo-Christian heritage that might speak to us today in modern language and agendas.
Very few now attend the same congregation, and we are always enriched by people of other faith groups. On occasion, we have met at our home by our fireplace in the den. My husband always had fresh flowers on the coffee table. There was something about meeting in a home as well as meeting with a group of people who have learned to accept and know each other so well they can easily ignite “God moments” in this eclectic community.
Another amazing image of such a community is a mosaic of pieces of cut glass of different shapes and colors. Each individual may be beautiful in its own right, but together a truly glorious multicolored image emerges.
I think of the story that I often tell children that was given to me so many years ago by Dean McMillin, another spiritual friend. God wanted to give part of God to God’s creation. God took a huge mirror, looked into it, and broke the mirror into many tiny pieces, sending them down to earth. God gave to every one of us a tiny piece, a reflection of God. We spend years trying to find that piece of God within ourselves, and when we do, we get so excited, “I have found God.”
That is where it stops for so many who try to make their piece, their image of God as the only image that is truly of God. But God calls us to another task. We are to fit our piece with that of others, and the more pieces of God we find in others, the larger is our image of God. We sometimes meet people who say they have an image of God that is so different, so foreign from ours. Sometimes these people are our children! As we fit more and more pieces and see so many other parts that represent God, we come closer to their part way on the edge of our God’s image.
This is a journey of a lifetime, finding God in ourselves, connecting it to the God in others, and enlarging our image of God. A beautiful mosaic. It is called community.