...And That Is What We Are
I have been away from the blog for the past week, and though not much has happened...much HAS happened. In the life of Christ at my parish, we marked the conclusion of Holy Week and celebrated the resurrection of the Christ. We remembered what it means to be a church, and a Church again with Peter's words to the assembled at the opening of Acts: "I am convinced that God shows no partiality..." and with those testimonies he begins to preach to all those assembled that Christ Jesus died and was raised in order that all might have life eternal and that we are all admitted as welcome members of a Body in Christ that spans time, place and division.
We need to hear those words, over and over again. Too much and too often we are consumed by division and conflict about who is "in" and who is "out," It does not take much at all for us to experience rejection and/or a sense of being disconnected from the Body. It might be a call that goes to voice mail. It might be an email that goes unanswered. It might be a visit that is too long overdue. It might be an honor that is denied. It might be anything small.
It might be great. It might be humanity denied because of skin color. It might be justice denied because of a lack of legal equity and social equality. It might be systemic, because we have been this way for too long. It might be systematic, because the structures of our common life have been built and engineered to that purpose.
It might be old...as old as scripture. We may fail to honor God, first and the human being second (or at all). It might be a lack of respect and honor for elders. It might be a denial of truth. It might be a lack of respect for honesty, for another's property. It might be envy, a desire that deprives us of right relationship to the other.
It might be new...or new to us: anxiety over our health or the health of others; the fear of infection or of being the source of infection for others; the desire to control the uncontrollable in the face of chaos; despair over anything I just noted above that results in a depression that numbs and paralyzes us from being able to grow, move and have our being in God and in each other.
The evangelist John reminds us in his first letter to the Churches that we are God's children. Simple enough to say, hard as all get out to receive and accept. What does it mean to be a child of God? It means that we are truly beloved. It means that love cannot be limited or removed by another. It means that no matter what, God is with us and is in our corner. At the depths of despair, in the midst of injustice in the face of rejection...God is with us.
Moreover, God recognizes us and knows us. We are not strangers to God. God sees us, knows us, loves us AS WE ARE....
And what are we?
We are God's children......now.
So, let's act like it.