BY THE REV LISA MULLEN |
I sing of a love that is matchless: of our God in whose image we are made, who creates and sustains life, who sets the stars in their courses, and who was crucified and died for the whole inhabited earth. I trust and love the One who balances every life system, where “even a sparrow will find a place where she might raise her young,” for God’s economy is intricate and vast, always being born and reborn. We are created a little lower than the angels. God whispers promises and hope in our ears, before our mothers and fathers give us life here on earth. Our Maker has fashioned us for joy and filled us with playfulness, inventiveness, and generosity, because we are born of a God who laughs, loves, and reminds us that we have nothing to fear. But we fail miserably in the hard work of loving. In fear and greed, we try to build our own kingdoms, forgetting that true “power is made perfect in weakness.” We wreak havoc when we cover our ears to the One who continues to forgive, who offers mercy and redemption, in spite of our hurting and killing.
“What language can I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend?” I thank God that my faith is a gift from the One who comes alongside us as brother and friend. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, born of Mary, is the Living Word. He became poor and humble, yet spoke and still speaks Life to powers and principalities, ever drawing us into God’s reign on earth. “I have called you friends,” says our Savior, through whose teachings, healings, passion, and resurrection we come to understand what it means to live abundantly. As we hear the voice of our Good Shepherd, we know how to follow him.
“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life.” We place ourselves at the behest of God’s Spirit, which means we count the cost of obedience as insignificant in comparison to the joy and justice we know in following Christ. Worship and the sacramental life both inwardly form us and transform us that we might be leaven, salt, and light in a world where the powers of death have done and still do their worst. The Spirit is ever-present: calming us, giving us courage, coaxing in us a longing for peace and reconciliation, holding us close, interpreting for us, and giving us wisdom from above.
I trust in the Word as our rule for faith and practice. Faithful interpretation happens best in conversation within the community. As Moravians, we realize “that we don’t look for answers in the Scripture, but rather the Scriptures point us to Christ so that we can find our answers in Him.” A right reading of scripture calls for spiritual discipline, study, and devotion. It is through our companionship in and with Christ that we respond in faith, love, and hope.
I believe God gathers us as the body of Christ, the church. We each follow the Good Shepherd, drawing upon our inherent giftedness, that we might proclaim the good news, live simply, offer hospitality, share our wealth, resist the powers of evil, and seek righteousness, justice, and peace.
About the Author
The Rev. Lisa Mullen is a Moravian pastor who loves the outdoors, Ukrainian eggs, reading, and music. Her husband, Chirs, is an ESL teacher. She has two children, Anna, a writer, and Issac, an architecture student at NC State.