Christ Lutheran Church Pastor Meredith Harber displays necklaces featuring the cross in this undated photo. (Photo by Meredith Harber/courtesy)

Christ Lutheran Church Pastor Meredith Harber displays necklaces featuring the cross in this undated photo. (Photo by Meredith Harber/courtesy)

Minister’s Message: Interwoven together for good

I hope that we can find that we have more in common than we realize

  • By Meredith Harber
  • Friday, February 23, 2024 2:30am
  • LifeReligion

When I lead worship as the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna, I put on a long white robe — to remind me of my baptism, a colorful stole that lays across my shoulders — to remind me of the shared yoking with God’s people, and a large cross necklace — to remind me that I serve as a messenger of God through Christ’s teachings. I have several of these crosses that I change out, depending on the season. I have a purple beaded one which was made by a Lakota friend that I like to wear during the season of Lent — the time we’re in now.

I have a silver cross with black ribbons through it that I often wear on Ash Wednesday, for funerals, or other more somber occasions. It was donated to our youth fundraiser several years ago by Natasha Weissenberg, a woman who was raised Jewish, but came to the Christian faith, and found her way to Christ Lutheran because we opened our space for her to practice playing the piano.

And I have a plain, gold cross that I wear most Sundays, because it’s simple. I have a few others, depending on my mood and what type of worship service I am leading.

This past Sunday, I was getting myself ready to lead our worship service and went to put on my purple beaded cross necklace and found it tangled up with all the other crosses. In fact, I started to get nervous, because I worried that if I couldn’t get it detangled, then I wouldn’t have a cross to wear for leading worship that day. I just had this pile of metal, clay, beads, leather and string, all intertwined.

And then I realized that is what it feels like to be a person these days — all our different values, our version of faith or religion, our political or social beliefs, our rough sides, and smooth edges, all jumbled up with each other. Sometimes, the strings and beads pull tight, and it feels like we’re stuck in an angry knot. Other times, it feels like we can see that we’re clearly different strands but serve the same purpose — to point to love and life in the world.

I was able to delicately unravel my cross collection on Sunday to pull out just one to wear that day. While some days, we bump up against each other in a not so kind way, I hope that we can find that we have more in common than we realize. Whether we have beads or clay or black ribbon, I hope we can find ways to be interwoven together for good, not to be an angry, garbled mess.

Peace +

The Rev. Meredith Harber serves as pastor to Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna. They worship at 10 a.m. in person and on Facebook Live, and 7 p.m. on Facebook Live.

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