what we are missing in this talk of #umcschism, separation, unity, and uniformity. #umc

c. 1437-1446
c. 1437-1446 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Revised Common Lectionary includes Acts 1.6-14 in this week’s readings. Likewise, it includes Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; and John 17:1-11.

From a cursory reading, you can see the connection. Jesus ascends to the question of when he will come come again (Acts); we are counseled to stick together and suffer as Christians (1 Peter), and we are reminded that Jesus prayed for our unity — a unity like the unity of him and the father.

But, there is something I think we have missed: The immediate church.

In this immediate church there are the disciples, women, the brothers of Jesus, and Mary his and our Mother.

What were they doing? They were in prayer.

What was their state? In one mind, or unity.

So, where did we go wrong — we excluded women and the oppressed, got rid of Mary, stopped talking to God. Now we have schism, not from one another, but from God in Christ.

So, let’s bring back prayer, the marginalized, and Mary.

The rosary anyone?


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Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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