Spring at Kenilworth Union means a resurgence of communities celebrating. For six consecutive Sundays, we gather with intentionality and purpose: Confirmation, Choral Music Sunday, Mother’s Day, Youth Sunday, Children’s Day, and Memorial Day all bring us together for their own reasons, but at the core, each unique service offers us a window into what it means to meet God in, with and between us.
I have been deeply drawn in by Julie Danilek and Mignon Dupepe’s use of the metaphor of murmuration as they launch our 2022 Outreach Benefit. They write, “Murmuration refers to the phenomenon that results when hundreds of starlings fly in a swooping, intricately coordinated pattern through the sky. This exquisite shift and movement in unison is called a ‘critical transition.’ Quite a compelling metaphor as we navigate these challenging times of isolation, illness, and unrest. We too have a desire for others to swoop in and provide support, lift us up, and help us feel connected as a community.”
In her new book This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation and the Stories that Make US, Cole Arthur Riley moves this metaphor from the power of community to the power of God. She says, “Some theologies say it is not an individual but a collective people who bear the image of God. I quite like this, because it means we need a diversity of people to reflect God more fully. Anything less and the image becomes pixelated and grainy, still beautiful but lacking clarity. If God really is three parts in one like they say, it means that God’s wholeness is in a multitude.”
I know that each of us have our own ways of drawing near to the intimacy of God’s love on our own through spiritual practices, but I hope this sermon series gives us a chance to see again with new eyes the power of God’s presence in community. May the multiplicity of divine presence unfold within and between us.