Peace Through Relationship

20150630_180713This week I went to a presentation put on by a group of 6 from the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA who just got back from a trip to Namibia. It was a great presentation. The team showed a slideshow of the places that they visited, and talked about their impression of the country. The trips focus was on education, and they visited with schools, hospitals, churches, and bishops of the synods in Namibia.

20150630_193006 My biggest take away from the meeting was the discussion around what one of the bishops told the group. He told them that it is through relationship that peace is formed. He is an advocate for peace, and encouraged them to form relationships with others, and fight for the US to not be so quick to go to war. He said that when the US goes to war it makes other small countries uncomfortable and fear the US.

This idea of peace through relationship is really cool, and I know it is important to help with the turmoil that is happening in our country right now. I would like to challenge each of you to get to know someone from a race, gender, or religion you do not understand before you post or talk about the group in a negative way.race

It is only through relationship that peace will happen. I am not talking about a superficial friendship where you do not take the time to really get to know the person. This is about finding out what makes them tick without trying to change them. It is about being open to their ideas even if they are different than the way you understand the world. Once you really get to know a person who is truly different than you it helps you to be more compassionate toward all of humanity, so take the challenge!!

The Eucharist

The Eucharist is one of the great traditions of the Christian church, and meaningful to many. While reading Hearing and Knowing: Theological Reflections on Christianity in Africa I came across an understanding of the ritual that I have not heard, or do not remember being stressed in my American setting. How ever when I did a search on youtube I came across this song which sums it up.

In the book, Mercy Oduyoye says, “From the perspective of Africa, an interpretation of the Eucharist that highlights the aspect of sacrifice is one that will touch people’s spirituality in such a way as to affect their lives.” When I have heard about sacrifice in the past it was how one should sacrifice for the sake of Christ, but she is talking about living in solidarity not doing things you really do not want to do, but are told you should.

Oduyoye goes on to say that sacrifice is “the way to replace charity with justice.” This is a different kind of sacrifice than I usually hear in relation to the Eucharist. Usually it is about the sacrifice of Christ, and not our sacrifice for others. (It is important to mention that I am not talking about living with abuse and calling it sacrifice.) There are those who tell people they need to sacrifice, and by that they mean they need to accept abuse. This is not the sacrifice I am talking about. The sacrifice I am talking about is a sacrifice that will help those in poverty get the human rights they need and deserve. It is not about abuse, but moving from charity to justice. This is done by sacrificing for others.

eucharist

In 1 Corinthians 11 the Corinthians are told they need to think of each other when they come to the Lord’s Supper. Those with privilege were eating all of the food before the others could get there. “Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves.” (11:28-29) Is saying that they need to consider how they are treating each other before they partake of the Table. Just like Oduyoye says in her theology.
The next time you come to the Lord’s Table remember that there are people all around the world standing right beside you.

Creative Challenge

I have been thinking of gifts for my family, and it is hard to come up with just the right thing especially when you are making them your self. Most of my family but me have at least one tattoo, so I thought I would challenge myself to use their tattoo as inspiration for the gift that I make them.tatoo tatoo2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I challenge you to create something based on a tattoo. What tat will you use? What will you create? I have my first idea, and will show you it when I get it done.