“God’s Mission: To Believe and Stay United”
10th Sunday After Pentecost
Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15
Have you ever seen a porcupine? Porcupines are animals with pointed spikes called quills all over their body for protection because their bodies are soft and sensitive. Hear this story: two porcupines on a very cold night saw each other, and they were convinced that they needed to huddle up close to each other to stay warm. But the closer they got, the more they pricked each other with their spikes, so they pulled apart. But the more they pulled apart, the colder they got. So it was a very frustrating night of back and forth, coming closer and then backing away.
Could this be a clear picture for many human relationships as well? We have a deep need to come close to each other. But when we do dare to come close, we often hurt each other. And so there is this constant movement- meeting together, planning together, talking together, but always carefully guarding the distance to be sure we are safe; in and out, in and out.
How can a whole church full of people make a safe place to come together? We want relationships. We know the church is strengthened by relationships. But we’re cautious, and rightly so. Healthy, safe relationships don’t just happen. If you don’t build your relationships carefully, you can really get burned. What we believe together will spell our behavior with each other…