Alone we go fast, together we go far…

Alone we go fast, together we go far,” is  an often quoted ‘African proverb.’  At first glance it seems to speak to the wisdom of working together for bigger goals.  A second hearing and we begin to see its pointing out the reality of two different approaches to two different goals.  Yet a third thought often comes to mind, ‘Does it matter if we don’t know the direction to go?’

 

It is so easy in our Western world to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.  Deadlines and sign-ups, promotions and events, travel and opportunity, techniques and training, life plans and crisis -and now – Covid quarantines and zoom backgrounds, appropriate PPE and digital presence.  It can often feel as if the carrot chasing pace we are on will not cease until… We can look back and see the times we went it alone, held our breath and got through something quickly.  We can also often see times when groups and family were so critical for getting us through the long haul.  Church, however you have experienced it, was probably involved somewhere along the way.  Yet, as we continue on, fast or far, we can begin to ask, ‘What for?’

 

I know there is great longing for us to gather like we once did.  When we do not gather as a whole, it takes great work from all of us to remain connected.  But it is worth it.  These connections keep the body of Christ moving and active even though we are distributed. 

“You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.” Ephesians 4:4-6 ~ The Message

 

I remember a past annual conference where we heard of individual churches growing fast and of our ‘larger 1100 location, 100,000+ church’ going far in the Bishop’s Miracle Collection.  But it was in the proclamation of our love of Jesus, the prompting of the Holy Spirit, our faithful following, and the resulting changes in the world which was such a reaffirmation of the road we are on together.  For we are a part of Christ’s church.  Every time someone said ‘Together,’ the audience responded, ‘We Are More!’

 

This is a thought which has haunted me since.  Together. We. Are. More.  There are times in life when we need to go fast, and times when we need to go far—and I hope the church will be a community we can rely upon for both.  For we, the called-out, committed followers of Christ who gather together under the name of Central are not in this for speed or distance alone.  We have at our helm the Holy Spirit guiding us down ‘the same road in the same direction’ for God’s glory!  We are all given significant parts in this journey and we have and will form significant community along the way.

 

It has been over 200 years since Methodists formed a gathering here in Richmond, nearly 100 since Central joined together, and 60 since we traveled to 1425 E Main St.  It has been a trip.  Yet, there is more to this road, and I believe Central is ready to take the next bend.  There are many in our neighborhoods and communities who do not know the love of Jesus and its accompanying shalom.  It is my prayer that you, and all who are called to Central, find your part in Christ’s bride here. For together, we are more.

In Christ,

Pastor Joseph


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