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Thursday, July 24, 2014
In Christ there is no east or west,
in him no south or north,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.
In Christ shall true hearts everywhere
their high communion find;
his service is the golden cord
John Oxenham’s “In Christ There Is No East or West”
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
By virtue of the family I was born into and later through friends, I have always been connected to the world beyond our country’s boundaries. I find this to be a great blessing, and it certainly grants me a different perspective when reading the daily news.
It also gives me a different perspective on all the references in the New Testament about being members of one body in Christ. This body of Christ incorporates all the peoples of the world. This brings not only blessing, but also responsibility to know what is going on around the world, to know just how we are connected—through our personal relationships certainly but also our corporate ones, our commercial ones, our political ones—and to care for all parties in these relationships.
And sometimes it is also brings sadness, thinking about people I love being so far away. At times like this, the hymn is a balm to my spirit. Though my loved ones may seem far from me, in truth we are closer together than we can even imagine.
Christ, gather us all together in your love and open our hearts and our eyes, that we may treat all this great earth’s inhabitants as our beloved family and that we may know there is no separation between us in you. Amen.
Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life
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