Our news headlines were full of violent shootings this past weekend, as well as the week before…and before that. And while our country fights about things like immigration restrictions, the shooters are more often than not young white men of US citizenship. What is it that Jesus said about removing the plank from our own eye before trying to tend to the fleck in our neighbor’s eye?
We find ourselves asking what we can do as a nation to remove the plank in our eye, to foster more love and less hatred in this divided and segmented society we live in.
I think it’s quite possible that the youth in our midst will lead the way.
On Monday, five teenagers and a couple adults will embark on our walking pilgrimage. We will walk, as we have before, through woods and city streets to another Episcopal Church in a much different place, where there is more racial and economic diversity, where we can be of use, where we can learn more about God, and ourselves, and one another.
Perhaps most importantly, we will put ourselves in a context where we can see Christ in the eyes of people who do not look like us, or talk like us, or spend money the way we do, or spend their days as we do. Looking people in the eye (people who we might otherwise sub-consciously label as “other”) we will drink in the antidote to hatred; which is relationship- respect for the dignity of each human we encounter. The people we meet along the way have much to teach us if we are wise enough to pay attention.
And God willing, we will tug our society closer to the Kingdom, inch by inch, step by step, prayer by prayer, relationship by relationship, in the direction of love.
If you would like to support the youth in this endeavor (by joining us for some of our time in Lowell, helping us clean the St. Anne’s, Lowell sanctuary Wednesday morning, sponsoring a walker, making a contribution to our host churches and organizations or being on call during our walk, let me know!) Above all, please do pray for our pilgrims this week as you continue to pray for our nation.
Yours in Christ,