United in Christ

As you’re reading this, I am somewhere in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on my annual mountaineering trip. This is always a highlight of my year, and I know that I’ve mentioned it more than once in conversation! In fact, hiking and mountaineering are favorite pastimes for my wife and I. Whether in the cold of northern New England or the heat of the Grand Canyon. For both of us, being in the mountains is not just a getaway, but a time and place of renewal and rest.

Because of this, one of my favorite authors is John Muir. The Scottish son of a Presbyterian minister, he found his way out west and was an early prophet of the value of wild places and the outdoors. He was even instrumental in beginning the National Park system! While his theology wasn’t strictly orthodox Presbyterianism, he nonetheless brought a deep sense of the sacred to nature.

As we finish up our “United.” series, I am reminded of a favorite quote of his: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” In nature, Muir encountered the mutual intertwining of all things. In scripture and in our experiences, we likewise are reminded that all people and all creation is bound together, indivisibly, as one.

So let that be our unity, not that we are forced to “make nice” with others out of obligation, but because we are reminded that not one of us is truly able to separate ourselves from one another, but in fact we need each other, as the Body of Christ.

Peace,
Chris