Is it just me, or do we seem to live in "vs." culture? Red vs Blue. Liberal vs Conservative. Immigrant vs Citizen. Church vs "The Culture." Evangelicals vs Gays. Modern vs Postmodern. Seeker-Sensitive vs Emergent. Science vs Religion. Academy vs Practitioner. DaVinci Code vs naive faith.
It's an old story with a continually new title. It plays out in the news, in the church, in the home--we're never safe from "vs." culture. It's always waiting for us in the next interaction or the next decision. It's oppressive.
I'm trying to remember lately that in the middle of this, we are invited to hear a good message--a gospel--that brings people together. And the central thrust of this good message is reconciliation: with God, ourselves, the people around us, with creation itself.
So if I am a true friend of this Gospel, I will work in every setting for reconciliation, right? Kind of like the King's Men, only this time with more measured success? On the surface it seems utopian, but doesn't questioning of the status quo almost always get labeled that way?
The thoughts of two John's on the subject:
John Wesley - "If your heart is as my heart, give me your hand."
Johnny Cash - "...listen to the words that Jesus said about the road to happiness through love and charity, why you'd think he was talkin' straight to you and me."
From "The Man in Black" on the Legend of Johnny Cash album.