In church yesterday we started a series on our belief statements, appropriately enough, by asking, “Why have a belief statement?” We talked about beliefs being a center around which to gather, and of course the erstwhile science teacher in me started thinking about magnets.
The last two years have really shown the intense homing instinct in me that sooner or later pulls me back to God even if I don’t feel like it’s ever, EVER going to work again. If it’s true that “in him we live and move and have our being,” then there is something in us that calls us all home, like magnets to true north. And if that is true, then there is no way to exclude anyone for “believing” or “doing” the wrong things. There’s no in or out, just nearness or farness, and we are all ultimately pointing to the same True.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” -Ephesians 2:13
And the thing about magnetic fields is that if you ever visualize them using iron filings, not everything runs the same direction…but they are all influenced by the very same field. Not everyone has a praise band. Not everyone has an organist. Not everyone worships in a tall stone building with stained glass…or a sprawling hall with built-in Powerpoint projectors and state-of-the-art sound systems. (Oops, probably too snarky. Repenting.) Not everyone prays specific words. Not everyone calls it “tithing” but they sure put their money where their mouth is better than I do. Not everyone knows what Jesus would do or even his name, but they have more love for the world than I will ever have.
If belief is a center rather than a wall or a box, then the closer you get to the center, the closer you will get to everyone else, even (especially?) if they’re angled slightly differently from you. So if I point myself to center instead of worrying what everyone else is doing, the closeness I need
should will take care of itself. Please and amen.