Find a church or online ministry


Renew the Inner Life


9 June 2024

By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Formation Ministries team director and World Church Spiritual Formation team lead

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For our slight, momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen, for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. For we know that, if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 4:16—5:1 NRSV

It’s important for me to remember when reading the Letters of the New Testament that, while they apply to our lives today, they were written for real people amid their real lives. It sparks curiosity in me. I imagine them, not as symbols or stories, but flesh and blood humans with beating hearts and hopes and concerns. I imagine them tending their children and making dinner and engaging in the tasks of the day all while navigating the complexities of human community, religion, politics, and a still new Christianity trying to find its way both within and as an alternative to the surrounding culture.

“So we do not lose heart.” I imagine these words could be written for our own time. And I imagine us, siblings in Christ around the globe, tending the children and making dinner and engaging the tasks of the day all while navigating the complexity and disruption around and within us. When so much is “wasting away” that we thought we knew, what does it mean for us to have our inner nature “renewed day by day”? As buildings are sold and new forms of Christian community are taking shape in some parts of the world, how do we pastorally hear the invitation that “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”?

I am reminded that in every age we are faced with the sacred reality of the mortal and temporary. We witness the cycles and seasons of life and know that what we hold so tightly in our hands might slip away beyond our control. We grieve our losses and still trust that everything that has had sacred significance to us is pointing toward “an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure.” What a gift to be here now, in body and soul, held in the grace and love of the Eternal. I pray that this longer view, this deeper awareness, will guide us in discernment of our many questions and decisions about how we will live now, courageously walking with Jesus, the peaceful One.

Prayer Phrase

“We, who are many, are one body in Christ” (Romans 12:5).

Spiritual Practice

Spiritual Learning

Meditate on a time when you learned about community from someone who took you in, fed you, taught you, shared stories and wisdom with you. What did you learn? Prayerfully create a list of qualities you need to learn from spiritual mentors and friends. Then write the names of people who serve as teachers, models, coaches, or encouragers in your life as a disciple. Offer a prayer of gratitude and blessing for these spiritual “relatives” and friends.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Name:


Previous Page

Learn more about Community of Christ. Subscribe