The world is loud;
turn inward to a quiet heart.

The pace of life is hectic;
slow down and be still for a moment.

You have forgotten to breathe;
take a long, slow inhale and feel your body relax with the exhale.

Busyness has stolen your focus;
clear your head and turn to God.

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I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. I’ve given them the glory that you gave me so that they can be one just as we are one. I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me.

John 17:21-23

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It has been said that we cannot be Christians all by ourselves. To be a Christian, by definition, is to be in community with one another. But if you have been a part of a family, or a member of a church, you probably know about disagreements and squabbling!

Oneness in Christ does not mean that we have to agree with one another all the time; oneness in Christ doesn’t even mean that we have to like one another all the time. Oneness in Christ is about receiving and sharing God’s love as our common purpose.

How do we that?

I like to think of it this way: In my faith community, there are always others who are praying for me, and there are always others who are in need of my prayers. And Christ is in the midst of us.

This doesn’t mean that we have lost our individuality with God as part of a community. Even as God desires our oneness, we are also each unique and irreplaceable, the apple of God’s eye.

Sarah McCaslin

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Holy God, when I find myself in disagreements with others, or when being in community seems like more trouble than it’s worth, remind me that community is not created for my purpose, but for Christ’s purpose — that the whole world might know of your love for us, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate (390-461 AD)

Sarah McCaslin

Sarah McCaslin is a Presbyterian pastor and psychotherapist who lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two awesome kids, Claire and Henry. She is also the minister of Waffle Church (really!), an all-ages worship service of St. Lydia’s Church in Brooklyn.

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