“Therefore, brothers and sisters heavenly partners in a holy call…”
Growing up in the wild west, one of the deeply held cultural norms was intense individualism. Cowboys, farmers, loggers and even fisherman proudly lived a life of significant self-sufficiency.
Epitomizing this for me was the experience we had buying our little ranch. As we got out of the car the hound dog on the porch began to bark. Shortly thereafter a scowling farmer, shovel in hand, came from behind the house, “You need something?” Happy that it was a shovel and not a shotgun I asked, “Mind if we look around?”
Once inside, I glanced out a small bedroom window and saw an absolutely panoramic view. “Did you ever think about putting in a big window to take advantage of this view?” I naïvely asked. “Son, I work the land. I don’t need to look at it!” Unquestionably, this farmer’s reality was him against the world.
With respect to my pioneer homestead heritage, the reality of the lone ranger is the antithesis of what we are called to as the church and as the body of Christ. Rather, as we hear in the above words of the letter to the Hebrews, as brothers and sisters we are heavenly partners with a holy calling.
While we respect the dignity of every human being, we are also committed to continuing in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship. In fact, the overwhelming image of the faithful in Scripture is as nation, tribe, people, community, family, and body we are connected both by lineage as well as being brothers and sisters who are heavenly partners with a holy calling.
We are uniquely created and given gifts for ministry, yet, not for ourselves, but for the One who created us to use these gifts through the power of the Holy Spirit to live as the body of Christ.
It is a tremendous blessing to serve as your brother and heavenly partner in this holy calling in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota.