July 19, 2019
How much mud is there in the world? We seem to find deep pits of it everywhere and we continue slinging it at each other, one blob after another, until we are covered in it and baking it on in the heat of the summer sun. Republicans sling against Democrats; Democrats against Republicans. Alt-Rights against Far Lefts, even now calling each other names like Communists and chanting things like, "Send her home." The people slinging mud might look like adults, even leaders, but all I see is the mud pit with little children dirtying each other, smearing each other until someone cries or someone gets hurt or snuffed out.
It’s everybody’s fault that we cannot get anything done. Most of our egos are so bloated it’s easier to blame than to fix. What ever happened to serving the common good?
Many people last Sunday in worship heard the story of the Good Samaritan, from Luke 10. One of my clergy colleagues remembered a sermon Bishop Marion Edwards had preached on this text. Read the Text: Luke 10:25 – 37. Bishop Edwards taught that that there were three responses to the man in the ditch: 1. There were the robbers – those who wanted what the man had and took it. 2. There were the Priest and the Levite – those who wanted to keep what they had and not give it to the man who was injured. 3. There was the Samaritan – the one who said, take what I have. I will take care of you.
This morning on my Facebook feed there was a reposting from a person I do not know, but who sounded like the Priest and the Levite in the story. She said, and I quote: “Immigrants, not Americans, must adapt. Take it or leave it. We speak English, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese. Therefore if you want to become part of out society, learn the language. This is not some Christian Right wing political push, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles founded this nation. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, AND OUR LIFESTYLE. IF YOU AREN’T HAPPY HERE LEAVE.” End of quote. Actually, this is an edited quote; the rant was longer that what I felt like typing.
I felt mud covered just reading this post. But this is not the only post full of vitriol, mistrust and hate that appear frequently in my social media. The story of the Good Samaritan, alongside the other readings of last Sunday speak to a kingdom where every life is valued, every person welcomed and fed and taken care of. I for one am tired of the mud from the evangelical church, from my state senators, from evangelical Christian leaders who have broad platforms, and from a president who never seems to hit his lowest point. No one owns God; and so far as this land being “ours” first it was God’s. Then it was inhabited by native peoples from the eastern shores of America across the continent who were brown people. We just shoved them over, never learning their language or even their story.
We who are Christian claim to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb and cleansed and born anew in the waters of Baptism until we are clean from the inside out. I pray the life giving water of grace will rinse out our mouths and our hearts until we are right with God and right with each other, like Christ wants us to be. I pray that our silences, our blindness, our vitriol will be washed away and we will be free to be whole people who care for each other and for this fragile creation we all call home.
Dry mud cakes and turns to dust. Dust to dust. Life is too beautiful and too brief to bury each other in the mud. What would a world that lived with generous abandon, abundant forgiveness, acceptance, and fearlessness look like? Maybe it would look like the kingdom of God.
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