How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
-Psalm 133:1, NRSV
A recent issue of the periodical Christian Century included this news item:
On Tuesday nights, tens of thousands of people throughout France — Jews, Muslims, Christians, and the nonreligious — log on to Facebook to hear Delphine Horvilleur, France’s foremost female rabbi, discuss racism, anti-Semitism, and the coronavirus, along with offering up unique interpretations of scripture. “I’m trying to create bridges between worlds that have stopped talking to each other,” she said.
As a person who values interfaith dialogue and longs for lasting peace, I am moved by the very thought of such a religiously diverse group of people gathering for conversation on the most important subjects of our time. If I spoke better French, I’d probably log on, too. (Alas — my French is pitiful, and mostly limited to asking for the bathroom or ordering a cheese sandwich. C’est la vie.) Think of it: so many people coming together (virtually, of course… but still “coming together”) in an attitude of respect, to learn and discover and converse and share, to build bridges and break down barriers? That’s where unity begins, friends… and how good and pleasant that is.
“How very good and pleasant it is,” the psalmist writes, “when kindred live together in unity” (Psalm 133:1, NRSV). I’d be hard-pressed to describe this season of covid-tide as “good” or “pleasant.” Yet I’m also aware that without this season of covid-tide, such important and unifying conversations may never have taken place (at least not with so wide and diverse an audience).
So I’ll take it. In this hard and harsh season, I’ll take every bit of goodness and pleasantness I can find. And while I’m at it, every morsel of unity, too.
And maybe… maybe I’ll be inspired, too. Inspired to learn and discover and converse and share. Inspired to build bridges and break down barriers. Inspired to have the conversations where unity can take root. How good and pleasant that would be!
May you be inspired, too, friends… and may you remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
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