The Pastor's Peace - July, 2012
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I write this having just returned from a vacation in South Carolina, visiting with Amelia’s family and spending lots of much appreciated beach time. I got to see the Charleston area, the history, the people, and the pride in what folks there refer to as the culture of the Lowcountry. Things seemed pretty different there than here in the Dayton region. Things were older, the food was a bit different, there was an ocean, and things were much more expensive. That last point made me very happy to return to Dayton. There are so many ways that South Carolina could seem to be worlds apart from what we know here in the Miami Valley-- but was it?

I had a bunch of fun while there and some funny events happened, like me trying to learn how to surf, but there were also some very interesting moments. One evening we were at one of the local bars with Amelia’s mom, and we started talking to some folks there. It turned out that two seats down from me was a young man from Dayton. Not only was he from Dayton, but he had also lived in my neighborhood before moving to Charleston, and he even knew some of the same people I did. A couple of days later, we were sitting in a restaurant and I started talking to someone else (you know I love to talk) and it turned out that she was from Palestine, had gone to college right down the road from where I went, and
knew one of the folks very well that I knew in college. Charleston seemed worlds apart at first, but perhaps it was closer to home than I thought.

As we live our lives we often come into contact with people who seem different from us, come from different places, or are from different cultures. At first we might think that there is more that separates us than brings us together. Jesus reminded people in his ministry that they were all connected. When Jesus talked about his family, he did not just mean his relatives, but all those who followed God’s calling. Paul reminds us that as Christians we are all connected as the Body of Christ. Sometimes these things are difficult to remember, and we see ourselves as more fractured than we truly are.

There are many things we can do to help us remember and live out our connectedness; one, however, is very simple-- talk to people. On my trip I could have thought that no one had much in common with me, but upon simply talking to some people, simply getting to know them, I realized I had much more in common than I could have imagined. So folks, I guess the lesson from this is to get out and talk. Get to know people, even strangers, and you might just see how big and wonderful the Body of Christ is.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian