"Margaret Mead once said, 'Never underestimate the ability of a small group to change the world. Indeed, they are the only one's who have." - From Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains.
Erik, Barbara and others around the country are in solidarity with Colombian brothers and sisters fasting this week while praying for a more just trade policy. Oh Lord, hear our prayer!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
This morning's sermon is about the mystery of oneness - What does Jesus mean when he desires that disciples be one as he and the Father are one? What would a world of oneness look like? What would it be like to be one? Often times our first tendency as human being towards a vision of one ness is to wish that everyone saw the world like each of us do. If everyone could see things my way; then the world would be just right... That would be making ourselves God. That is far from the mark of Jesus' vision. What would it be like to be one? And it's certainly not a world in which everyone is the same.... What would it look like? Dream with me for a moment.... What: Politicians that don't bicker to gain power and ideological favor? can you picture that? There may be Republicans and Democrats, but they don't put each other down, and slice and dice one another up: rather with different perspectives, say, "We are Americans, let's work to provide adequate health care for the people..." We're americans, let's figure out how to get our country out of debt and create a more equitable system. What: We are one so We don't need a wall across our souther boarder... We are one so we don't escape regulations to make cheaper stuff... We are one so we don't drop bombs on people... that they May be one, as we are one Can we even conceive it? we have a long way to go: Part of what many perceive as our difficulty in realizing this vision of Jesus is that we operate out of what is called a dualistic mind. Or a binary mind. We easily see differences. And out of these differences, we easily conceive separation. Cookie monster sang merrily to many of us growing up or he sang it to your children growing up.... : "One of these things is not like the other.." One of these things does not belong" Children are complimented by how well they can tell things apart. This is a cat (Meow) and this is a dog... (woof!) very good!! And so the dualistic mind forms....and our binary brain creates our separated world. thinking patterns distinguish, and we learn to put labels on things, Jesus' words, Do not judge has also been translated Do not label. In our binary minds we are able to distinguish ourselves, and we understand ourselves by thinking about ourselves in terms of our own characteristics. WHo am I? I am a cancer, a christian, a minister, an anglo, a man, a father. And as I distinguish myself, I formulate an understanding of me. The dualistic mind easily sees opposites: black white, hispanic anglo, male female, right wrong, Christian Muslim Heaven hell red blue red or green us them, U.S. them Pay attention today to how many times you say something is good or bad. or that you like one thing but don't like another. Or that is right and this other things is wrong. what do those words even mean? But Jesus says: Protect them, ....so that they may be one, as we are one. As the father is in me, I am in you, Abide in my love. IN our world, we share one planet...that could be an easy mark of oneness. We live off of it's resources, and where it is polluted in one area, other areas are affected. This week I enjoyed participating in a tour at Los Alamos National Lab. One of the presentations given to our group was on Climate Change:. Yes, our planet is warming, and no prediction says that this will result in anything positive for our future...but our appetite for energy is not yet satisfied.... And, of course, the rest of the world wants to consume as much energy as we do in this country.... so a Billion Chinese are building one Coal Fired Power Plant a week. One a week...and the contamination goes up up up, into the atmosphere, the wind blows it east across the ocean, and then it comes down down down in polluted rain and a compromised ozone layer over North America. And what are we going to do: Pressure them? Sanction them? HOw many billions do we owe? Threaten not to buy from them? Ha! back to the lazy boy, change the channel to another mind numbing program, and turn on the air conditioning cause it's getting hot in here! .... But I digress: The global climate is a drastic issue that demonstrates more than anything else how connected we are. that they May be one, as we are one. Even in our church we are struggling with differences. Members...and friends...and visitors. Old timers, new comers...separation Spanish, Anglo..., Immigrant, Native born...not necessarily including Bruce. And Jerome.. Sherl...Shin....Where do you fit in? Maybe there is an "other" category...o thank goodness! division...even when the intention is to unify.... We are one in the spirit we are one in the Lord. Can we sing this song with integrity? Even when we invite someone to church (something all of us do, right?) or to some activity: we may say, please join us. And by doing so there is a distinction made. There is a subject (you) and an object (us). I am an insider, you are an outsider, And we struggle to even think how to phrase things differently. Protect them....so that they may be one as we are one. We are even divided selves: Am I a good person or a bad person? Am I a lovable person or someone who cannot be loved? Do people like me or not? Am I worthy or unworthy? What does it mean that God so loved the world? Protect them, so that they may be one, as we are one. How do we begin the conversion? How does the transformation take place? So that we can live into a world of oneness? See a world with NonDual awareness. a Unitive consciousness. - - No separation. No separation between humans and God: . What is the greatest commandment? "Love the Lord your God:" There is no separation between God and humans. It's all one. There is mutual abiding. God abide in us and we abide in God. The vine is part of the branch and the branch is part of the vine. This is love No separation between humans and humans: Love your neighbor as yourself. Not love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. Which is sometimes taken to mean : I have to love me first before I love my neighbor. there is not an "as much as." Love as yourself. The same. Your neighbor is you. There are not two people in competition. One seeking to better herself at the price of the other or to extend charity to the other. The free flow of love is between people who seem themselves as one. No separation. The fulfillment of Jesus prayer begins with disciples It is not up to Obama to unify this country. It is up to disciples And anyone who in humility follows Jesus in the Way can live into Jesus vision for oneness... this is what Jesus calls us to when he calls us to repentance. when he calls us to conversion. when he beckons us Jesus's ministry was one of compassion, love, and empathy. When we are able to live humbly with compassion, empathy, and love...one of the unique and most defining characteristics humans are capable of, we become one: Protect them so that they may be one, as we are one: One of the key aspects to unity, is the radical understanding of divine protection. Jesus prays, Father, protect them. Protect them. God's protection gives us the confidence to view the world as one. It is when we attempt to protect ourselves that we have to put up walls, and draw lines, and make distinctions, and, litigate policies in our best interest, even if it is harmful toward others and the environment. Protect them. Trusting in God's provision, and trusting in God's love. Protect them, so that disciples can be one, one with each other, one with God. This is not protection from death. This is protection from falling into the trap of isolation and difference because of fear. Protect them so that they may be one, as we are one This week, Erik and Barbara sense that they are one with sisters and brothers in Colombia who will be fasting this week praying the US and Colombian governments may agree upon a more just trade policy, as the one currently in place has led to displacement, violence, and unrest They may be one as we are one : I love the powerful scene in the movie Gandhi, the factions motivated by among other things, religious differences, divide into separate nation-states Pakistan and India. And when Gandhi attempts to cross the new boarder he is stopped and asked about his religion: Gandhi boldly says, ''I am a Muslim and a Hindu and a Christian and a Jew and so are all of you.'' We are one: Last night, we ate at a little hole in the wall mexican joint. When another couple came in with a child Ruby's age, Ruby's eyes lighted up. and after a bit of hesitant interaction She and the other child begin to play, It was easy to see the differences: One had short blond hair, the other long brown hair. One had blue eyes, the other brown. One wore a pink shirt the other a white shirt One was born to immigrant parents, the other to parents whose family has lived in the US for generations.... One was deaf and one could hear. Their language was play, and run, and squat, and the downward dog yoga pose And when it was time to go home they said goodbye and hugged, and when we were in the car, Ruby cried, Quiero a la nina. I want to play with the girl. Trusting children can be our best teachers. Protect them, so that they may be one, as we are one. Let us begin to see the oneness that exists between us all. TUrn to someone sitting near you and say....we are one... Amen. May it be so.