Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Of building bridges and breaking down walls

My turn to offer the meditation for our diocesan staff Morning Prayer today ... with thanks to Richard Rohr & Phil Groves:

The idea of bridge building is both admirable and common — but there is also the biblical image of wall breaking.

We build bridges across natural divides (especially rivers and canyons) but the divisions that challenge us as a human family —  male and female, slave and free, Jew and Gentile, black and white, citizen and immigrant, millennial and boomer, heterosexual and LGBTQ (to name a few) — are not natural divides. They are the walls those with power have built between us with the intention to divide us -- and they are the walls that need breaking down.

It is fear that motivated those with power to build those walls -- fear that without them they and their power will not be protected ... fear that without the walls, anyone could just come in and out. And they are right.

The world tells us to separate from “the other.” The Gospel tells us we are all one in Christ. We cannot face this crisis as individuals; we cannot carry the pain of this reality on our own, nor can we only look out for ourselves. The pain is communal and so too must be the response -- a response that breaks down any walls that divide us.

And the irony of this coronavirus crisis is that in physically separating from each other in order to protect the most vulnerable, we are breaking down those walls that divide us, recognizing that we are — as Dr. King taught us — part of “an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny."

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