On October 7th at FUMCMC, we will begin the discussion that has consumed the United Methodist Church over the last 46 years. During that time, we have spent large sums of money and countless hours discussing, debating and sometimes arguing over the issue of sexuality. I have watched people I care about, who might not agree on this issue, sever friendships with one another. I have listened to friends who have had their hearts crushed, not because of the votes, but because of the anger and venom being spewed through Tweets and Facebook posts.
As we begin our discussions within our community, I am very much aware that we all won’t agree on the position the United Methodist Church should adopt. But my prayer is simple. Maybe we can all just breathe, and I mean literally “breathe in and breathe out.” And with each breath we take, maybe we can think about a scientific “fact” I learned from Neil deGrasse Tyson, a world renowned astrophysicist.
Dr. Tyson claims atoms that are in the air today, are the same atoms that were in the air thousands of years ago. That means that you and I might be breathing the same atoms, the same air, that Michelangelo breathed or perhaps Moses or maybe even Mary.
And if that doesn’t blow your mind, think about this. The writer of Genesis tells us that when God created humans, His breathe gave Adam life! Could that mean that we are breathing in some of the same atoms Adam breathed in? And then does that mean that you and I are breathing in the very breathe of God which gave life billions of years ago?
Maybe we can remember this the next time we want to post or tweet our opinions. Maybe we can think about this the next time we think about the differences between us. We share the same air. Literally. We all share that one simple, extraordinary thing: air—breath—simple ordinary breath—the breath of God. Maybe that is what Paul was thinking about when he told the church in Philippi to be of one mind, one spirit, one soul and one love.