I read an article by Professor of Theology, Kelly Brown Douglas, at Union Seminary who writes: “The soul – that which connects human beings to our aspirational selves, animating and propelling us to do better, pushing us toward the fullest potential of what it means to be good – reflects the essence of humanity. The soul of who we are as divinely made creatures, therefore, is not defined by the mercurial and compromising protestations of human beings, nor is it accountable to the politics and biases of human history. Rather, it is inextricably bound to the transcendent arc of the universe that bends toward justice – that perfect goodness which is the loving justice of God. Our soul connects us to the beloved community, which God promises for all, a community where all persons are treated as the sacred creations that they are.”
Reluctantly, I’ll admit that treating some people as “sacred creations” is not always easy for me. I try my best, which I have to believe is good enough but for me, fundamentalists cannot be convinced and coercion does not seem like an authentic strategy that builds trust and leads toward reconciliation. Fundamentalism (theologically, politically or culturally) mandates the only true way to believe, behalf and belong – it’s as if they always know best – that I’m forced to bend in only one direction and they determine that based on their own interests. I’m conflicted and challenged in these days as the “tumult and life’s wild, restless sea” intensify, (What hymn includes those words?) as the polarization becomes even more startling in pursuing the path of goodness. I wonder how to bend enough for my soul to connect or to stay connected with without losing my balance, which results in faltering, falling over and failing.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 8:3-4
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
How do you see yourself as a sacred creation?
What propels you toward doing better?
How do you show others that they are a sacred creation?
Prayer: Holy God, let me be mindful of the path I take today and strengthen my connection to your sacred community – your Beloved. Let goodness and mercy fill all the days of my life. Amen.
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