Saturday, April 28, 2018

Solidarity with Jesus

A few weeks ago I had a normal Saturday in the Hope household.  The four of us headed out in different directions as I ran my Mom in another! Our lives are generally a whirlwind so today was no exception.

As the Mom, my wants and needs are something I generally put squarely underneath the wants, needs and demands of everyone else. Between running for everyone, I had the opportunity to spend a whopping TWO HOURS at a ladies UMW spring retreat. I hadn't read the book, I didn't even know what it was supposed to be about because I knew that I want going to attend.

Living as a covenant community.

What's that even mean?  How about some modern day English?  I know God made covenants with us like the whole rainbow in the clouds thing and not flooding us to oblivion again but what does it mean today?  I'm pretty sure community is all of us. I remember singing a song as a little kid, “red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight-Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

Then Reverend Pamela began saying some things that I feel really strongly about.  Specifically, “Jesus came in the flesh so we can learn to be fleshy people...fleshy people who love everyone!” I quickly opened a note on my phone so I could remember the things she was saying. (I hope she didn't just think I was texting!)

"Nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus, so nothing should stop us from loving everyone!”  THIS!! This is exactly what we need to be yelling from the rooftops.  Loving everyone should be the easy part because that's really the bottom line of why Jesus came and what he has tried to teach us.

We get so caught up in rules.  You should do this, you shouldn't do this.  As Methodists we have a rule book called the Discipline but you know what?  None of us can "do" all the discipline any more than we can "do" all the bible...but you know what we can all do? We can forgive, we can love. Solidarity with Jesus.

Being together whether as a family, neighborhood, church or community, being “in covenant” means we learn to give a little sometimes. When we just take and expect our way all the time the covenant is broken. Learning to give is just the right thing to do. Give doesn't just mean things to others it also means, as John Wesley said, "we don't have to live alike to love alike..." seeing past our differences to find common ground.

The covenants from Jesus were written in the nail scars through his hands to the community NOT the Christians. Through his parables he was trying to show us how to forgive, how to love how to get along with one another. As a people, our covenant should be with one another and also with the community. Jesus' primary covenant is, “I love you," we should strive to have solidarity with Jesus by saying I love you to the least, the last, the lost, the conservatives, the liberals, the republicans, the democrats, the LBGTQ, the divorced, the Muslim, the Jew, the Christians...everyone.