need your listening ear

We are so made that we need each other in all departments of life, and supremely in this one. We can and do mediate God to one another. By fellowship we rise to experiences which are impossible otherwise.

Religion today is not merely a question of what Christ means for the individual but of what He means for the world. Does Christ mean anything for the stricken, confused, disturbed, restless world? The answer to that question can be given only by our common Christianity. By our common Christianity however, we do not mean a Christianity reduced to the poor elements of what we all hold in common. We mean the precise opposite---something that is to us richer than anything any of us have yet got. For which of us has as yet fully apprehended Christ? To think that what we individually or the bodies to which we belong have apprehended of Christ is in any sense a full understanding of Him is to deny or to forget His inexhaustable fullness. Only the whole church can apprehend Christ.

Thus through all our contacts, as we bring each of us all the positive things we have apprehended, there is being evolved slowly in the common service of the non-Christian world some richer conception of Christianity than we have yet apprehended, something more worthy to win the affection and allegiance of non-Christian peoples. In our own committees and discussions of common problems, if we are alike faithful to what is true and best in our own tradition and ready and eager to learn from one another, there is a creative process at work, the wonder and splendor of which is often hid from our eyes. We are the instruments, often the unconscious instruments, of a purpose and creative power outside ourselves. Our feeble efforts at cooperation are, God be thanked, not ours alone. Through them in spite of our blindness and shortsightedness God is working out something grander than we know. Though we may not be fully aware of it, we are being led by Him into a larger and richer world. If only we are sufficiently open to the influences of His spirit and responsive to His call, the years that lie before us will be still richer than the century of missionary effort on which we today look back.