Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The world that was

Matthew 5:3-11
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

"In his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kung popularised the term Paradigm Shift. He made clear that, even in the scientific field, a paradigm shift is tantamount to what religion often calls "major conversion." And it is equally rare in both science and religion...
Kuhn said that paradigm shifts become necessary when the plausibility structure of the previous paradigm becomes so full of holes and patchwork fixes that a complete overhaul, which once looked utterly threatening now appears as a lifeline."
Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell in The Divine Dance

That "great rummage sale" of which Phyllis Tickle spoke, that happens every 500 years is surely here. We're at the bottom of the cereal box, shaking out the last crumbs, looking for the prize.
Folk are kicking against establishment, against the institutions, even and especially if that leaves them coming up empty. What has gone before is not sufficient for this age.
When the real extent of the darkness that is racial, gender, ability and sexuality discrimination is uncovered, it seems that there is nothing left with which to fight.
Until today, I would have been the first to assert that love triumphs over all.
Love has not triumphed when those on the margins, those with whom the church is called to be, who have, for some time, been living in fear, have that fear reinforced, rubbed in and tamped up.
Even love is, quite simply, not enough today.
We need new weapons with which to counter such darkness, such a changed reality, such a decisive voice of protest at establishment, such oppression of those who are other.
We need a new story to tell, not only to our children but to those kicked while they are down today.
We need new expressions of faith, new actions, new ways of being, new ways to stand alongside those to whom and with whom we are called to invest in the reign of God.
I have faith that those new ways will be revealed.
I have faith in the reign of God.
But, right now, our call is to commitment to reach out to and to stand with God's beloved children of whatever political, racial, gender differentiated, sexual oriented hue - to reach out to the other and, in time, to discern a way forward, a way out of the miry pit.

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