Archive for the ‘Albert Tate’ Tag

What Price Will We Pay for Unity?   1 comment

I have never been more aware of the presence of diversity of every sort in our small congregation. It brings me great joy and I believe it is a gift from God and represents an unprecedented opportunity at this moment in history. 

At the same time I have never been more aware of the divisions and potential divisions that this diversity is surfacing amongst us. I see people not coming to the family table or even leaving the table because they find the conversations difficult and that deeply saddens me.

I want to make one more attempt to call you all back to the table. Why? Because the one thing that Jesus prayed for as He approached the cross was “ that they might be one.” He did not pray that we would all agree or see things the same way but that we would be united . In other words that we would remain at the family table because our love for one another is more important than agreeing with each other.

I recently listened to these two instagram posts that express very powerfully the pain that comes when the unity of the family table is disrupted. PLEASE LISTEN TO THEM!

Now please  ask yourself, what ever emotions were aroused by what you heard, am I willing to take the risk of staying at the table with my family.  I am willing to wrestle with the differences in opinion amongst us, confident that we are all trying to be fully devoted followers of Jesus. To do this not to have my mind changed but so that we can understand each other better. 

How can you do this? You can join a Race to Equality conversation, take the risk of contributing even if you think some might disagree with you. If you don’t feel able to do that call me, an elder or a member of the Race to Equality Team and have an open and honest conversation. (I deeply appreciate those who have already done this and had conversations with me)  

At this moment the issue on the top of the table is racism, closely followed by the issues raised by COVID 19. But approaching rapidly and ominously is the election in November. The decision we all face is will we let any or all of these divide us. Will we let them drive us to leave the family table because some of our family see things differently than we do. Or will we stay, accept the struggle and discomfort because we want to be part of the answer to Jesus prayer that we would be one.

I wanted to close with this Fourfold Franciscan Blessing that just seems so appropriate for us right now :

May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
AMEN.