Thursday, June 20, 2013

Galatians 3:23-29

Pentecost +5 - Year C 

Our expectations act as law. They rein us in. Self-censorship is always alive and well. We are well bounded by expectations of others and of ourselves. This is a protective function that serves a purpose—for awhile.

At some point an amazing grace of no longer needing the authority of law or custom, but taking authority beyond either becomes possible. This is where there are no laws against the amount of joy one can have or degree of patience one can demonstrate. There is no constraint regarding kindness or who can be welcomed. Some call this faith, some a gift of one religious leader or another, and some simply being human. By whatever name, to come to an experience where a new invitation to health is hearable is like a drink of cool, clean water to a parched life.

One way to follow the biblical storyline is to note experience after experience where expectations fail, where law fails. This is sort of a “Who’d a-thunk it!” approach to spirituality. When the unexpected happens and we are attentive enough to note it, a new person is set loose, a new people is released. To this day we are using categories to divide, not just to describe: My religious/spirit group and every other, those enslaved by systems and those benefiting from any given economic structure, those of one sexual orientation and those of any of the others. Discrimination abounds. This list is infinitely extendable to residents and aliens, one generation and all others, my privilege and your privileges, and on and on. New separations are continually cropping up.

Just as mono-culturing is dangerous for agriculture, mono-culturing is harmful to community. Sameness leads to weakness, blindness, and falling off a cliff. All manner of seeds and gifts are needed to be able to flourish. If you only belong here, you don’t belong anywhere. If you belong everywhere, you definitely belong here.

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