Hanging By A Thread
I've been watching the news too much lately--the news and social media.
Part of me wants to shut it all off, and focus on something else---to stay uninformed, and blissfully ignorant of the pain out in there in our world right now.
But I keep coming back because there's always some good news buried in the midst of all of the bad. There are moments of hope in the middle of all the stories that bring me to despair.
These are the ones I cling to right now.
Just a few days ago we watched as a SpaceX rocket launched two American astronauts from American soil into space for the first time in years. When they reached the international space station, they took a photo of the earth below.
It was beautiful.
From that height, the Earth looks peaceful, serene, filled with brilliant diversity of color... all completely unified into one coherent whole.
But there is also a sense of fragility especially when you realize just how tenuously all of that coherent wholeness is held together in just the right place, just the right distance from the Sun.
All it takes is a few degrees difference and the wholeness turns to chaos, the unity in diversity begins to devolve into destruction. When you see it, you can't unsee it.
We are all held together by a thread. All of us. And the thread is stretching.
But I am convinced that there is hope for this beleaguered world we live in. I believe that we will see an end to these seasons of travail and tribulation.
Because in the end, what will save us from breaking that thread completely is our common humanity, manifest through the divine image within us, our shared connection with Creation through the Spirit of God.
In the end, the love that Jesus talked about so much---the agape, sacrificial, no-strings-attached love that exists purely and freely within the realized kingdom of God---that love will win. The thread will remain.
But we need more awareness of all that we have in common with all people, everywhere. We need to open our eyes wider, let our imagination and our hope run wild.
We don't need more religion. Religion isn't going to save us. I know that sounds odd coming from a pastor, but it's true. Sometimes it just makes things worse. Religion can stretch that tenuous thread farther than most things.
Only the love of God that Jesus embodied can rescue us from ourselves. Anthony de Mello once wrote:
It is not from lack of religion in the ordinary sense of the word that the world is suffering, it is from lack of love, lack of awareness.We need the view from space to remind us how vulnerable we are, how easy it is to wreak ruin upon ourselves when we forget the most important things, and we focus on all of our differences.
You have holy work to do today.
You have the chance to let the love of Jesus loose into the world. You have an opportunity to live into the dream that God has had for us since the beginning of all things---that we would flourish, multiply, grow in connection to Creation, and to one another...
And that we would learn what it means to be created in God's image. All of us created in God's image. All of us.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.