July 13, 2009

a word we need to hear

I just finished reading a thoughtful piece by a dear friend on the issue of same sex blessings and the Episcopal Church. The comment conversation that has followed, is, as is to be expected, less than civil. I am also thinking about today's hearings for Justice Sotomayer, and am generally underwhelmed currently at the tenor of conversation in America. As the foolishness of the pseudo-liberal-conservative-divide gets more and more apparent, the adherents of both extremes - fundamentalists and fundaliberals - get more and more angry and less and less charitable, and quite frankly I fear where the escalation will take us. We fancy ourselves sophisticated westerners, but I'm not so sure that fists and guns and bombs won't, at some point, seem reasonable.

But today, in the letter from Paul to the Church in Ephesus, I hear a word of hope. Paul, speaking to Gentiles and Jews, uncircumsized and circumsized gives them this vision - "For [Jesus Christ] is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is the hostility between us.

If the majority of American's still profess to be Christian and if Judeo-Christian morality and ethics still, for the most part, define the debates in our government, then why are we ignoring so blatently the fact that as Jesus breathed his last the great curtain of the temple was torn in two; rent asunder? Why do we insist on thinking that God is on my side and not on yours? Why does it have to be and either/or conversation? In Christ there is no east or west, in him no north or south. In Christ there is no either/or. In Christ there is only peace; only walls of division being torn down; only the end of hostility.

On this day my prayer is for the end of hostility in all the world, but most especially in the Church I love and the nation I pledge allegience to. May God remind us all daily of the peace of Christ that could settle even the differences between Jew and Gentile.

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