“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.”
–1 Corinthians 12:12, 14
“Accept each other with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. You are one body and one spirit just as God also called you in one hope.”
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day set aside for learning, refection and service. Also this week on Wednesday, the 46th President of the United States will be sworn into office on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
A symbol of the presidency is a presidential seal that is used to mark correspondence from the president, is on the podium where the president speaks, on the presidential limousine and aircraft and on the ceiling and rug in the Oval Office. The border of the round seal reads, “Seal of the President of the United States.” The inner ring shows a star for every one of the 50 states. In the center is a bald eagle. The eagle is holding 13 arrows in one talon, representing the 13 original states. In the other talon, the eagle is holding an olive branch. The eagle’s head is turned toward the olive branch, signifying the nation’s desire to pursue peace.
The ribbon that the eagle is holding has the Latin phrase, “E Pluribus Unum” on it, which is the motto of the United States and means, “Out of Many, One.”
This phrase, ‘Out of Many, One,’ is a powerful and relevant statement. With the division, mistrust and divisiveness currently within our nation, the phrase becomes like a prayer…Make us one, Lord, make us one!
While we are many, we really are all members of one body and God does call us into one hope, for our nation and our world. That kind of hope begins with love. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Hate can’t drive out hate, only love can do that.”
In this historic week for our country, may we reflect and pray about the impact that living in a way that models ‘out of many, one’ could bring for the common good of God’s people living in the world God loves. May we pray for God’s gracious Spirit to make the many to come together as one.