In life it’s necessary to build bridges of love vertically and horizontally. A vertical bridge is to God, Our Heavenly Father. A horizontal bridge is by loving our neighbors, friends, and strangers. Jesus Christ who is love died on a cross at Calvary for us. Let his love flow from above for it unites, and sustains us. Its flames are indestructible as if sweeps across our nation transforming cultures. It’s inspiring to love and be loved. Blessed are those that love their enemies, for they are a courageous and compassionate lot.
Elisabeth Elliot (b. 1926), a Christian author and speaker wrote, “To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss. The great symbol of Christianity means sacrifice and no one who calls himself a Christian can evade this stark fact.” True love is the cross, a bridge to spiritual maturity, because Jesus showed where there’s loss, there’s gain.
A bridge inspires hope. It requires lifting people up while proclaiming the risen Christ. As a fundamental principle Christians are strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Hope like love is joy, and a shining light. It means justice for those who are marginalized in society. Believers find inspiration through the Word that speaks directly to their hearts. Brad Henry (b. 1963), the 26th Governor of Oklahoma, said, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” Learning the foundation of progress builds bridges of hope.
The Church’s Pastor
The church is a missionary body. Through their ministries pastors build bridges to communities and reach out to the world. This is accomplished through motivating their flocks. Parishioners are literally on fire for Christ as they serve their brothers and sisters. They teach the Word of truth to those hungering for justice. These men and women who are prudent in discernment embrace pastoral challenges with enthusiasm. Known for their charitable works their presence extends to the slums in cities. Robert C. Shannon (b. 1930), a retired preacher said, “Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is - - where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge.”
St. Teresa (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary in India, commented, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” Christians must work amidst the poor and dialogue with people to change their ways. They should attend inter-religious meetings of believers from different faiths.
No longer must God appear, not to be part of the whole. Having access to the sacraments has been a sticking point among some Christian denominations. Why must this be? Since we’re one being in the body of Christ. In some congregations the definition of marriage has led to breakaway denominations. Christians are concerned about values, although some are more traditional than others. Why must we judge? Only God knows of our hearts. With such controversies building bridges aren’t necessarily easy, but it’s the right thing to do.