Six siblings and their significant others gathered together, weary and full of anxious anticipation. Events beyond their control the past few years had challenged and sometimes threatened to fracture the deep-rooted love between them.
In addition to their divided loyalties for NFL teams (how is it possible for a family born in the same city not to share the same team loyalty?), they held diverse political views: siblings to the “right”- “to the “left” and to the “center”, sometimes mirroring the vitriolic discourse of the news cycle online and television, in their shouting, finger-pointing, and heated debating. Six siblings and their significant others wondered how this holiday gathering will fare. They were anxious indeed.
The Six, descendants of an undocumented immigrant, disagreed on methods of border security but all shook their heads in disbelief regarding the separation of children from their parents, even as they debated who was responsible for these tragic narratives.
Six siblings and their significant others gathered in the Christian tradition of the promise of peaceweary and battered by the chaos of a world that demands winners and losers in the most self-serving and violent of ways. They gathered in all their diversity and disagreement determined to stand in that promise of love for one another and for mutual hope for themselves if not the world.
The Six and their significant others approached the table willing to be open and vulnerable and to allow love to guide them in the hope that they come together as one united family. They broke bread and drank, laughed and touched one another. They shared their lives, the ups and the downs. They talked and more importantly listened to one another, seeking common ground with the love rooted in the connectedness as family. They experienced a glimpse of the Kin-dom of God, which for a brief moment allowed them to shed their weariness, their defensiveness, their bitterness, and their disappointments in one another. For the moment, they embraced each other in the fullness of their love and felt hope.
The promise of hope and peace is not only a Christian one, but is a promise shared by many. A desire rooted in the promise and love which proclaims that all are created in the image of the Divine. Justice for all is rooted in that promise of hope, love, and peace that calls us to action as God requires us “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
In this season of new beginnings, may families gather, with love and kindness as witnesses to the justice of a loving Divine Presence which allows us to face tomorrow with the hope that we may be one as family in peace and love.
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