Families have split in the past couple of years over vaccines, mask mandates, conservative vs. liberal politics, racial justice, and recently over banning books in schools. The politicians of our nation (and perhaps world) explicitly use the strategy of dividing us against one another to win our allegiance and support. Nixon introduced abortion as a wedge issue. Reagan introduced the “war on drugs”. Clinton, and then Trump declared immigrants to be a threat to our nation.
By the time the pandemic arrived and we started fighting about mask mandates, the practice of divisive politics was well established. These divisions do not stay neatly on a map of blue and red states because our families do not fit neatly in one place or one ideology.
Jesus calls us to a radical, new way of living together. Jesus challenges us to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27) It is possible to reach across the divisions of the world. The politics of our day tell us that the other is evil, against you, not to be trusted, but Jesus says that they are a beloved child of God, just like you.
The Rev. Carola von Wrangel and I will be offering a teaching series in Lent to explore the Christian practices that allow us to reach across divides in our politics, and even in our families. We will talk about forgiveness, healing through forgiveness, reconciliation, and holy listening. I hope you will join us. More information may be found here.