If, then, there is any comfort in Christ, any consolation from love, any partnership in the Spirit,
any tender affection and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love,
being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility
regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests
but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:1–5 (NRSV)
One of my favorite partnerships I experienced growing up was when my father, a pastor for the predominantly white Presbyterian Church in our town in the deep South, worked with a few Black ministers from different denominations to coordinate a church service where all our churches would worship together. This was perhaps one of the only times where any church in Lake Charles, Louisiana, had a pretty even split of Black and white worshippers. After worship we would all gather around tables for fried catfish. It was a partnership in the Spirit that I’m sure made the Lord’s joy complete!
As I got older, I began to learn what a church budget was. Our church budget was a constant discussion topic, and at times, seemed to be all that some church members could focus on. Meanwhile, friends from a local Latinx church (where finances were tight) would tell me about all the work their church did: feeding those who were hungry and putting on a toy drive for lower-income families at Christmas. Perhaps we can all learn from the small, lower-income churches, put our selfish ambition aside and look to the interest of others rather than our own. It is time to join Christ at their table where we are called to live out what the world calls impossible! One mind, one love and partnership through the Spirit.
Action: Develop a partnership through the Spirit with a congregation different than yours. Remember that you are not there to help, but rather to experience and learn while worshiping among others.
Prayer: Oh Lord, we thank you for your call to live as one body through you. We ask that you lead us to help make your joy complete through our actions and the love we have for one another. Help us remember to look for the interests of others and to be the light for a dark world. As we face a world filled with hate, we are reminded to love one another just as you love us, oh God. Bring us all under one partnership through your Spirit. Amen.
Aaron Seay is beginning his second year of his Master of Divinity hybrid program at Duke Divinity School. He is a preacher’s kid who felt a call to ministry halfway through college after working as a leader for Mo-Ranch youth conferences for several years and takes pride in working as coordinator of youth ministry for the Presbytery of New Covenant. He currently lives in Houston with his dog, Easton.
This year’s Path of Peace reflections are designed to help participants explore peacemaking efforts addressing some of the major issues of our time. The theme for the 29 days of the 2022 A Season of Peace is Led Forth in Peace: Critical Areas of Engagement for Peacemakers. With these daily reflections, we are invited to reflect upon ways to practice peace by engaging the following critical areas:
- Climate change
- The intersection of poverty and racism