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As I was writing out my Christmas cards this year, I was saddened by some of the people that are no longer with us.
Flipping through the pages I see the address of an old friend from high school who died this year. Her name has been in my address book for years, but she passed away without our ever being able to reconnect.
The names and addresses of beloved family members that I hold close to my heart, including special aunts and uncles, as well as long ago neighbors, bring back sacred memories as I turn each page.
While I keep current the addresses of several people on my phone today, our address book reads like a history book. It speaks of moves, deaths and friends that have somehow slipped away.
Why is it that we stay close with some people, but others have disappeared from our lives? Is it simply a matter of losing touch, or do we grow apart as we grow up, and our life—and interests—change?
This makes me think of a situation recently where I was talking with someone who was not steeped in faith-related topics. I felt limited in being able to converse with them because we didn’t share that common body of interest in religion or a familiar language of faith.
Like scientists and mathematicians who share a language which connects them, the same is true in religious circles as well. Since I connect with so many of my friends and acquaintances through this common language of faith, when it is missing, it is noticeable.
It’s good to be aware of this so that words can be clarified. Our inclination should not be to avoid challenging conversations, but to find ways to communicate more effectively with one another.
In today’s Opening God’s Word, we don’t have to work very hard at all to recognize a common theme that binds us all together. I invite you to turn to the First Letter of John Chapter 4 as you listen to my podcast so that you, too, will discover the one unifying language God offers us.