The following phrase became the last words of my benediction at the end of all worship services, funeral and weddings I officiate.   I started this in Tewksbury Congregational church in the fall of 2012.  I have a banner that has hung in my house for years. It was a light that opened up the eyes of a dying man, my brother-in-law.  It has also had a profound effect on my ministry.   It is a quote from Mother Theresa:   “We have no peace because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

One day, I realized that without a sense of unity and shared responsibility for one another, we cannot achieve true peace. It highlighted for me the importance of recognizing our interconnectedness and treating others with empathy and compassion. It also helped me understand all the negative ways our sense of belong is interrupted.   Jesus is said to be the Prince of Peace, so to me his teachings also reflect that our belonging is anchored in God. This is why we have a deep need to feel a sense of belonging to another. 

From this idea, I realized that our relationship to God, each other and the world is one of Belonging.  Belonging to each other is often broken by those who trespass against us as well as by our own selves when we become suspicious of others actions towards us and us towards others. Therefore, I came up with the phrase “You belong to God, God belongs to you, and we all belong to each other”.  This phrase is a “sneak preach”! And it has become the foundation of my preaching which is why I end each service with these words. 

These words are a reminder of the interconnectedness of all people and the importance of community and relationships.  It also invites people to ponder what these words mean to them.  

Join us Sunday to hear more!!! 



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