John 10:31-38 The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? if those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ – and the scripture cannot be annulled – can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?” If I am not doing the work of the Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
The relationship that defines us is based in many ways upon Jesus’ relationship with the Father described above. As Jesus is in us, we are joint heirs with him. Isn’t it often true that the encouragement of that relationship is sometimes not taken personally? I came across a quote from a Jewish Rabbi that has something to help us become more aware of our potential.
From Rabbi Rami Shapiro:
The term “perennial philosophy”. . . refers to a fourfold realization: (1) there is only one Reality (call it, among other names, God, Mother, Tao, Allah, Dharmakaya, Brahman, or Great Spirit) that is the source and substance of all creation; (2) that while each of us is a manifestation of this Reality, most of us identify with something much smaller, that is, our culturally conditioned individual ego; (3) that this identification with the smaller self gives rise to needless anxiety, unnecessary suffering, and cross-cultural competition and violence; and (4) that peace, compassion, and justice naturally replace anxiety, needless suffering, competition, and violence when we realize our true nature as a manifestation of this singular Reality. The great sages and mystics of every civilization throughout human history have taught these truths in the language of their time and culture. 
We are all part of the greater whole. As we accept that to be the reality, we begin to see how our individual actions contribute to the greater whole. Justice is up to us. Violence stops with us. Diversity can be celebrated by us. The love of God is up to us to share. We are not separate from our brothers and sisters in this world because we are all loved by our Living God. We all have a part to play in the reality that is our life at this time and in this place. What we do, think and say matters: not just to us individually, but even more importantly to us collectively. As children of our living God, let us celebrate family, even when we disagree.
Near to the Heart of God
There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace
Near to the heart of God.
O Jesus, blest redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us who wait before thee,
Near to the heart of God.
God, help us come to a fuller understanding of your love and all it means. Keep us in awe of our place in your plan for righteousness all over your world. Through your Holy Spirit correct us when we need it, enable us when we falter, and encourage us when we despair. In Jesus’ name and to your Glory. Amen.
Rev. David Brosnan