Get Together

Pray-Her

“The more we get together, together, together
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.”

I love this song. It is simple and simple enough. It is taught to children before they know enough about the world to be cynical and suspicious of folks that say, “We can all come together.” It is hard enough with all of our divisions, our lines, pluses and minus signs, our categories and check boxes.

We check boxes to ensure that persons are just right for us, a good fit for our company, to ensure that they are who they claim to be. It’s a tight squeeze—most of who we are doesn’t make it in. Who we really are doesn’t fit into a couple of boxes. We’re going to need more room, way more than wiggle room if we are to be fully present in the world.

Parenthetically speaking, I want to be all here. Fully present, I want to give people the “all clear.” Unpack the boxes. Show yourself.

Still, we try to get it together with the elbow room we are given. Because “the more we get it together, the happier we’ll be,” right?

But we haven’t been able to get together—not in large groups, not as a family, not as a Church in North America or elsewhere for more than a year. In fact, for the Church, the more we get together, the more divided we become. Not even Jesus’ hands stretched out from a cross or supper at his table brings us together. With different theories of atonement, open versus closed communion, we cannot come to the table on this.

Still, Jesus prayed, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20-21, NRSV). The answer to his prayer is us—not in our corner of the world or our neck of the woods. It will take all of us getting together, not simply joining our hands together but to join the Divine Community. Jesus says, “Be a part of us, the Trinity.”

I want this prayer to be answered so badly. But this is not about unity, the acceptance of our diversity. We are all human beings, nothing more and nothing less. It is a prayer much larger than us or what our eyes can see, bigger than our categories and all that we box up. It is an invitation to join in the mystery of divine belonging, to be a part of all living things. The more we get together in nature, in community, in the Spirit, the happier we will be.

And until we do, until we are one with all that lives and breathes, the world won’t believe a word we say. So, sing it with me:

“The more we get together, together, together
The more we get together, the happier we will be.”

Amen.

Reverend Starlette Thomas* is a freelance writer in Bowie, MD. She writes on the social construct of race and the practice of faith at www.racelessgospel.com. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and praying with her feet.

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