March 2, 2010

us v. them

Last week in Sunday School our topic was Luke's version of "love your enemies." This topic is again on my mind this week as I ponder the tough lesson from Luke 13. Our Parish is reading Henri Nouwen"s From Fear to Love as a Lenten devotional book and Saturday's post was entitled, "Our Father Loves All."

This line seems to sum it up, "God doesn't need to divide the world into those for God and those against God because God loves everyone uniquely and unconditionally."

I've heard it said that it is human nature to divide things into groups: apples and oranges, men and women, friends and frenemies, whatever. We justify our label and dismiss lifestyle by saying "we have to do it." But Henri Nouwen seems to argue, and I think Jesus in Luke 13.1-9 agrees that we are all in the same boat. We are all struggling to figure out life; some of us get it a little faster than others, but none of us is perfect. When we start to label people as "sinners" or "enemies" or "not producing fruit" we divide the world into "us v. them" and we are always the good guys.

Jesus says, "nope, y'all are all the bad guys, but God is waiting patiently, tending to you, confident that one day, you'll pull it together and produce fruit." The rain falls on the evil as well as the good. We all have the chance to grow. We all have a chance at redemption. There is no us v. them.

No comments: