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A New Commandment

Over the past several weeks, more and more hoodies are being worn around The Holy Hill as a show of support in the face of outrage relating to the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, FL a month ago.  Hoodies worn to worship. Hoodies worn in class.  Hoodies gathered around a fellowship table over meals. 

Today, a lunch time forum offered a venue for people to try to articulate their anger, fear, and questions. Dissatisfaction with the laws of this country was repeatedly cited.  Disgust over the lack of investigative action taken until the national family rose up crying for justice in an unjust system was raised.  Even honest reflection that the social media outlets of our day which draw us in under the guise of entertainment reflect a society full of crime, oppression, hate, and anger which culminates in death, law and order, and maybe legal systems.  There remains a great sorrow over a young life lost, and the resulting fear and trepidation arising for any and all, regardless of race, sex, gender, etc.  

I sat quietly, listened carefully, and watched mostly people, one after another, acknowledged their own feelings and thoughts while critiquing the society we live in.  It is scary.  But I couldn't help but think that there are many victims in this tragedy, for they number more than just Trayvon, his family, and friends.  And what of the anonymous Trayvons we don't know or never hear about?  Dare I suggest that George Zimmerman is a victim too, along with his family and friends.  Finally, everyone who feels less safe today than they may have a month ago has been victimized as well. 

As some tried to encourage this seminary community to reflect theologically on the matter, I heard words echo in my head as they poured into my heart.  I thought about how sweet these words are when we say them, as they linger on our lips, and melt in our mouth.  They sound good, and they taste sweet.  But once taken in, and finding their way deep inside, those once-sweet words then become bitter.  For it is those words, and that call to live into a new commandment that Christ gave us, all of us, that convicts me, and us, now.

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." ~ Jn 13:34-35

Sweet to say; hard to do.  But try, we must.  Please try.  Pray that hearts will be made open to feel and love, that minds will expand to know a better course and understand how to get there, that all lives will be taken over and transformed.  Let the light of Christ, which is Love personified come into this world, rule our hearts and minds, to change our lives, one life at a time.  That change might also save a life.  

I appreciated the words of our Dean today in his Commentary: "As we look into Holy Week, we are reminded that we worship a God intimately and directly involved in the tragic."  

Please try.  Do try.  It's a start, and we must begin now. 


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 30th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
I just read your latest entry on your web. It is a wonderful writing. I agree with you, talking about the love of Christ is easy, living up to His way of living it is very difficult, without His guidance it is impossible. Love, Dad
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )