Yesterday, for a question and answer cycle repeated itself. The words are simple enough; where are you from? The answer is anything but. I am not sure that the question has the meaning it used to. In traditional lore, where a person came from told others about their history, values, priorities, attitudes, and approach to difficult situations. In my childhood, the stereotypes were under challenge, rightly so. No longer could you tell another’s story by his or her skin color or accent. No longer could you predetermine their values by his or her parents. No longer could you assume anything based on externals. I wonder if it was ever true.
I live in a world where God speaks through believers as well as those struggling to know God’s face and name. I find myself interacting with the Spirit who works in harmony with people of many different types of faith. From the western appearing Buddhist priest sitting in Starbucks working on his computer, to a Hindu struggling with the realities of modern life, and on through to inspiration provided by individuals cherishing many different perspectives of God. God continues to work through anyone willing to be part of a compassionate, merciful, and love filled response to the world’s Evil.
Our family, community, is far bigger, more diverse, and wonderfully different than we can imagine. God has known and talked about this fact throughout history. Today’s perspective is echoed in the old writings, “as for the outsiders who now follow me, working for me, loving my name, and wanting to be my servants—all who keep Sabbath and don't defile it, holding fast to my covenant— I'll bring them to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. They'll be welcome to worship the same as the ‘insiders,’ to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to my altar. Oh yes, my house of worship will be known as a house of prayer for all people.” (Isaiah 56.6, 7)
Today is a wonderful opportunity to step out into a world full of new friends and family.
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