A Place for Everyone
This month is Black History month; this week we have been celebrating Interfaith Harmony Week and on Tuesday night I was part of a panel discussion about women in leadership. All three of these things draw our attention to discrimination and fears and inequality that have been very much a part of the society that we have created. We certainly can acknowledge that great strides have been made in the last number of decades to address all of the “isms” and we have seen some improvement. I have even heard some say that we have fought and won the fight. However, what has been highlighted for me in these last few weeks is that the pursuit for justice, equality and freedom from fear is ongoing and we still have much work to do. I listened as one woman recounted the barriers she had to overcome to do the work she loves and the many instances of discrimination she still faces. I have listened to conversations that highlight the fear that still exists in the presence of differences. And there are countless postings on Facebook that end up with someone suggesting that someone else should “go back to where they came from”.
Our Responsibility! Our Duty! Our Privilege!
For those of us who follow in the footsteps of Jesus it is our responsibility, our duty, our privilege to do as he did and work diligently to overcome exclusion, discrimination and injustice.
It is recorded that at the beginning of his ministry Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah and proclaimed
“I have been anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to the captive, recovery of sight to the blind and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
This set the stage and he spent the rest of his time bringing to life this message. He lifted up the marginalized and outcast; tore down barriers between men and women and between nations; and spent time leveling the playing field for all. He reminded his followers that the greatest commandment was to love God and to love neighbour as self. Near the end of his life in this realm his prayer was that “we might be one”.
A Place for Everyone
We have so much that we can learn from each other. Our differences can be our strength if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. A couple of years ago Chris and I wrote a piece that we sing as an opening for worship or an invitation to the table
“A place at the table has been set for you. No matter class or culture, who you are or what you do. There is a place for you.”
I believe that this is the essence of the message of Jesus and when there really is a place for everyone then the Kingdom of God will become reality. Until such time, we must be co-creators of a new way of being –
opening doors of possibility;
tearing down the walls of division;
eradicating the inequality between men and women, slave and free, rich and poor; and
dispelling the fear that creates hatred and violence.
May it be so
© 2020 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury. All rights reserved.