The Weekly Word

by Pastor Donna

The Christian Faith Community is like a mosaic…

Henri Nouwen is a very special person to me.  I never met him in person but one of my mentors served with him while they were priests together.  My mentor left the Catholic Church and became a UCC minister and served in Greenfield, MA. It was Armond who introduced me to Henry Nouwen, a man who is considered a contemplative Christian.
Henri wrote many books which I highly recommend reading.  My favorite is “Bread For the Journey.” It is a daily devotional book and every few years I read through it again. This year I have been inspired and refreshed by his wisdom and insight. For instance, Jesus and the authors of scripture often used symbols to help everyone understand complex concepts. We see this with  Christian faith communities being  described as the Body of Christ.  Each member of the community is as important to the other no matter what body part they may be (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).  Nevertheless, we struggle most often to figure out where we fit in or how we belong in our faith community. Furthermore, many do not  fully grasp that each of us are vital in our ability to live out the mission of our church.  
Nouwen wrote: “Community is like a large mosaic. Each little piece seems so insignificant. One piece is bright red, another cold blue or dull green, another warm purple, another sharp yellow, another shining gold. Some look precious, others ordinary. Some look valuable, others worthless. Some look gaudy, others delicate. As individual stones, we can do little with them except compare them and judge their beauty and value against each other. 

When, however, all these little stones are brought together in one big mosaic portraying the face of Christ, who would ever question the importance of any one of them? If one of them, even the least spectacular one, is missing, the face is incomplete. 

Together in the one mosaic, each little stone is indispensable and makes a unique contribution to the glory of God. That’s community, a fellowship of little people who together make God visible in the world.”  Henri Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup?



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