August 18, 2017
Who are MY people? Jesus defines that for us. Who is my neighbor? He speaks clearly to that question.
I stand with them because I am one of a company of people of faith who believe that faith in God will transform our communities, transform lives, and transform hate into love, suspicion into trust, corruption into justice, despair into hope, and darkness into light. We take the Light of the world into those places that are dark and prayerfully witness for peace, justice, truth, and grace.
We stand in grief for lost life and potential, for hopelessness on the streets, for the atmospheres that create travesty and tragedy, for the pervasiveness of a mood that makes one group suspicious of another.
Grief! Sadness! Indignation! Hope!
We stand for hope.
We stand for broken communities because they are "next door" to ours in so many ways and because we are all one people. We are humans and we are Americans and we all have skin and bones and God loves each of us and we desire transformation!
I stand for many things - for people persecuted for their faith around the world, for Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, for people whose personal sadness is surfacing because of a notable suicide, for our service people and first providers in harm's way, and for leaders who have to make decisions from all parts of the political spectrum who just can't win because they will always be maligned and suspected of wrong motives.
I stand against racism, class-ism, nationalism, chauvinism, and every other ism ought to be a wasm that isn't yet.
I believe in a great God who made us all and knows that inside our deepest souls we shed our outer labels. That God values us, loves us, and has a purpose for every life and can zero in on one representative life to teach us to value all life.
We must step out of our cocoons of familiarity, clan, and family to join the larger family.
We must recognize the anger, pain, and suffering that boils in the hearts of people who we may not think of, yet, as our people. We don't have to completely understand or agree with it in order to acknowledge it, but we must acknowledge it and try to understand as best we can, limited by the filter of our own life experiences.
We must learn to stand on whatever common ground God provides and, if that is prayer, let us pray for people and not against them, pray with an open heart and no agenda of our own, and pray for the things that God gives us to pray for.
Who are my people? Jesus was interrupted with the word that His family had come to see Him and He pointed to all the people around Him doing the will of God by listening to His words and seeking to apply them to their lives. He said,"They are my family."My family? The people of God!
They are everywhere and they are cross-cultural and I stand with them as they stand with their communities knowing that doing so will strengthen our solidarity and God's people in our own community.
Who are my people?
When the saints come marching in, you'll shocked at the diversity of the parade!