Cathedral News, August 20, 2017

 
 
 

This week’s Collect appeals to God to bring us together as a church so that we can show forth God’s glorious power in unity. In my sixty-two years, I can’t recall a time when we need unity more than we need it now.

The deep divisions in the world give me great pain. The harm inflicted by extreme vitriol and torches illuminating voices of hate, and the beliefs they reflect, is a disgrace to God’s benevolent act of creation. Just like driving a car into a crowd to harm and kill innocent people is senselessly violent, words of hate and derision are equally violent. And this is entirely inconsistent with the Christian faith. Because if indeed we are all created in God’s image, then violence against another human being is violence against God.

Whether or not we like it, we are a dynamic mix of cultures, histories, ideas and beliefs, all equally loved by God. Nelson Mandela taught us that we are not born hating other people. Hate is taught and learned, but it is not innate.

Loving our enemies doesn’t mean that we give them a pass when they seek to harm others; nor do we meet violence with violence. How do we remain true to our call to respect the dignity of every human being while looking directly into the face of racially and ethnically charged violence? How can our actions begin to change the narrative?

We do not hide behind fear and we do not sanitize hard truths. Like Jesus, we may weep. We may decide to open a conversation with friends and family about racism, or join the Reconciliation Team to work through the issue within our Cathedral community. We may question the authorities that want to legislate prejudice; or we may march because planted deep in our hearts is a hope for justice and equity.

Presiding Bishop Curry wrote a pastoral letter to the Church concerning the violent episodes of this past week. In it he appealed to us to recommit ourselves to deepening our commitment to the Beloved Community that Dr. Martin Luther King wrote about. Bishop Curry said,

“We who follow Jesus have made a choice to walk a different way: the way of disciplined, intentional, passionate, compassionate, mobilized, organized love intent on creating God’s Beloved Community on earth.”

Dr. King’s Beloved Community was a vision of a world in which all people were at peace with one another. It may seem naïve, but the fact is that reconciliation is the bedrock of our vocation as people of God. If indeed we are ambassadors for Christ, then we are reconciled to God through Christ and therefore you and I are agents of reconciliation in the world. And the love of Christ urges us toward unity, not division.

Whatever we do as God’s chosen people, when we encounter evil we are called to name it. And the recent displays of hatred, bigotry and chants of “The Jews will not replace us” are most definitely evil. Not responding is not an option.

Read the rest of the announcements.