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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Love and Justice

Undivided

The God of love is also the God of justice. The two are related, for in the Bible justice is the social form of love. Thus the God of love is not simply 'nice,' but has an edge, a passion for justice. God's acceptance of us is unconditional, not dependent upon something we believe or do. But radical grace has most often been too radical for most Christians. We most often put conditions on God's grace: God accepts you if...And whenever an 'if' clause is added, grace becomes conditional and ceases to be grace.”
Marcus Borg (The Heart of Christianity)

We're told a lot these days that we live in a polarized, divided nation and world. And it's true. Not for the first time, by any means, we are using religion to legitimize that division. Doesn't matter which religion we're talking about; if you throw a dart at a map of the world, wherever it lands you can find religious division expressed. There is deadly tension even within the same religion. Thus we see not only Christian and Muslim, and Jew and Muslim, but also Conservative and Reformed Jew, Sunni and Shia Muslim, progressive and evangelical Christian set against each other. It's as though we've left the God of love completely out of the picture.

If you believe in an overarching divine mystery at all, then you surely must believe that entity is undivided. Even if the paradigm you hold dearest is not a religious one, but that an intelligence holds the universe together, or an energy gives life to each thing, it is not a patchwork of empty and full. It is cohesive, undivided, and all inclusive. God, or whatever word you use to give name to that entity, is One. God does not pick and choose. All of creation is equally valued by one Divinity.

So, we have only human beings to blame for the divisions. The creative force of the universe extends unconditional and equal grace to each part of creation. This may be a radical idea, but the truth is that no one religion or people is unusually blessed or consecrated as “special,” or “chosen.” We are One. And justice for one is justice for all. Can we wrap our heads around that? Better still, can we wrap our hearts around it?

                                                             In the Spirit,

                                                                Jane

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