“Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Post Communion Prayer BCP 365)
The death of Senator John McCain has brought powerful tributes from across our country. While he was known as a ”Maverick,” he clearly built relationships with a wide variety of individuals in the political arena and throughout the nation.
The consistent narrative about Senator McCain was that he was a man of high principles. Even those who came from a completely different political and ideological perspective respected him. At his core was an unwavering commitment to God, family and country. Whether being held as a prisoner of war or serving in the Senate, John McCain embodied an unwavering value of the greater good before self.
We see this with his emphasis that principles should always come before personal ambition. In my opinion, it’s refreshing to hear such a strong affirmation, from someone who lived a life of service, not for self but for the greater good.
Our world seems to be espousing and living the antithesis of that understanding. Personal ambition over principle; individualism over community; what works for self over what is best for the whole; difference over what unites us.
These all loom large in our time and our context.
That, of course, is not the way of Jesus. It’s also why I particularly appreciate the passage I began this post with from the Communion Prayer. We are sent into the world to LOVE and SERVE with SINGLENESS of heart. To follow Jesus is to be a part of the body of Christ. We are connected, communal, corporate. We have been gifted not for ourselves or our personal ambitions, but rather, to be a part of bringing the Beloved Community forth to all.