Reposted from Steve Harper. You can follow his blog Oboedire here on WordPress.
“As many of you know, I have deep concerns about the institutions I have served for decades. And as important as things like this may be, I am struck this morning by the sense that now is a time to live more deeply and work more widely than the issues of institutionalism call forth.
We are living in a time when what happens in one denomination or one seminary is “small potatoes” compared to the degradation and destruction of life going on around us. It is possible to become too consumed by secondary matters and overlook the pain of bigger things.
Now is a time to join the human family and to be one with everyone near and far away. Now is a time to focus on love, compassion, unity, non-judgment, non-violence, and the fruit of the Spirit. Let the schismatics create their associations and let the discriminators discriminate. But let us give ourselves to the things that lead to reconciliation and oneness.
The people around us are not “issues.” They are human beings made in the image of God. They are just like us, and we are just like them. “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for us all.” We are one humanity on one planet, and we live or die together. Our main task is to personify the two great commandments through the offering of mercy. Do it in the office where you work, in the congregation you pastor, in the school you attend, and in the neighborhood where you live. Be salt, light, and leaven.
Jesus said that peace-makers are blessed (Matthew 5:9), and his turn of phrase means it is not enough to believe in peace, we must work for it. We must pray as St. Francis did, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace” and then personify the kinds of actions that his prayer goes on to describe.
The world does not turn on what is happening in one denomination or one school–even though what happens in any one place does matter, and we must not be silent wherever we have concerns. But we must realize that the world turns on whether we incarnate decency and goodness, and manifest it toward everyone we know and meet. I do not know who I will meet next, but I know what I am supposed to do when I meet them–love them. God help us to give ourselves to love.”
~ Steve Harper