A House Divided

"The Lead" at The Episcopal Cafe today, written by Wesley J. Wildman and Stephen Chapin Garner, reminds that "Divine love shines when you stay connected, especially when it feels like a major effort to do so. Strive for the spiritual maturity to place love ahead of personal comfort and your church's witness will flourish."

In light of last night's health reform debate in the House of Representatives, I have a heightened awareness of the division that an issue like this can cause in a nation and, closer to home, in our own congregations - not because some people think health care is good and some people think health care is bad, but because people have very different ideas about how the health care crisis in America ought to be handled and by whom.

This Sunday we will gather in our churches for a complex worship service - one which begins with a joyous Palm Sunday procession and continues with the reading of the Passion. Finally, we will be invited to join together at the Lord's table.  Some will comment after worship that they wish we could just "do" Palm Sunday - in other words, just stay in the joy.  Others will remember a time when The Sunday of the Passion actually preceeded Palm Sunday by a week, allowing us to focus our emotional energies on one end of the continuum and then the other.  But somehow it seems right that we experience these together - experience the tension of conflicting emotions.  Perhaps even stretch ourselves to embrace the tension.  And - now here's the real stretch - to embrace the person sitting next to us or across the aisle with whom we disagree on so very many issues. 

"Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors?" - Malachi 2:10