Monday, July 17, 2006

Blog Con 2nd comment

This is really an extension of yesterday's blog entry about the Blog Con and won't make much sense without reading yeasterday's entry first.

I have been thinking a lot about the worship experiences, and about the power they had to generate hope and to move us in those places beyond language. There was an intentionality of inclusion. We had all decided in advance that we would open the door to eachother. When that door is opened, God's magic rushes in.

I think about America -- and what parts of our history make us great. I know there are things we have done that bring only sorrow -- but when I envision what I dream for our future, the moments that embody the intentionality of inclusion are the ones that stand out for me. What is quoted from Emma Lazarus at the base of the Statue of Liberty is what we want to hold dear:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


You want freedon? We have it. You want justice? It flows like honey.

Come on over here -- we have work to do,places to live, places to worship. We have air you can breathe, land to farm, rivers leaping with trout. Come on -- come on -- there is so much that we want to share it. We have so much that we want you to have some too. Come on!!!

This is the America I love. Michelle said in her sermon this weekend that there are two ways to hold a penny -- one with closed fist and one with an open palm -- the America I love knows about the open palm, understands abundance, radically includes. The America I love thirsts for diversity, can't get enough of it -- you ALL come! Come to the table. Here, here. Sit here by me. I'll help you learn. You'll teach me your language. We'll make sense of it all together.

Did no one ever invite you before? We are so sorry. Did you feel on the outside, looking in? Come in now! Bring those others with you -- wait, we'll go out and help you find them where they sit in fear, in shame. Give them the best seats. Let them eat first -- it has been so long for them. Here, sit by the fire. Warm up.

Oh, this is the America I love -- this is the best of us -- the diverse inclusive best of us. Not a nation that ignores differences, or scorns them -- but one that welcomes them as added riches to the treasure chest of nationhood.

This is the America, the world, that winked into sacred being for an instant during worship this weekend. This was God's reminder that no act of inclusion is small, or trivial, or taken lightly in the realms of heaven. This is what it is like to be touched by even the slightest corner of God's joy.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Rachel said...

What a stunning post this is, and how awesome a thing we have done together this weekend!

Back at the last presidential election, I wrote a blog post filled with despair about how I feared my America no longer existed. I feared I didn't belong here; I feared I was attached to a dream that had slipped away. Your post is a powerful reminder of all of the ways in which that despair is not true. Thank you.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Lorianne said...

Amen: you preach it now, sister! :-)

I've been thinking about what varous talking heads said about Islam in the aftermath of 9/11 & other terrorist attacks: the real message of Islam has been hijacked by extremists who have distorted its message. That's true, but the mainstream media doesn't go on to explain the flipside: CHRISTIANITY has been similarly hijacked by extremists who use it as a tool of exclusion & shame.

I have my own baggage & "negative karma" that's rooted in this distortion of Christianity, and I know lots of folks who have even more anti-Christian baggage than I do. What was beautiful about the blogcon in general & Sunday morning's worship service in particular was the way it redeemed or reclaimed a non-hijacked version of Christianity, one in which breaking bread is a symbol of inclusion, not a means of keeping people from the table.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Mata H said...

And we MUST believe in this. It is our belief that hope is possible that will MAKE it possible. Rachel didn't know whe she planned to have worship sections in the conference just how AMAZING they would turn out to be. But she threw herself in the direction of G-d, hurled herself toward hope, toward our finest selves, toward our deepest breath, and look what happened. Amen and amen.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Hi, Mata. I am a Quaker blogger, and I wanted to mention I just linked to your post in a comment I made because it so closely ties into a discussion that is happening among Quakers online, about having conversations that cut across theological and historical divisions...

I mentioned something similar in a comment on the Velveteen Rabbi, too.

Blessings,
Liz, The Good Raised Up

10:58 PM  
Blogger Xpatriated Texan said...

Beautifully put. Thanks so much for the part you played in our conference.

10:12 PM  
Blogger alto artist said...

Just beautiful. Thank you so much for these words.
--aa.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Maggie Rose said...

and more blessings. your description hits at the heart of what is great about America and Americans.

M.

10:03 AM  
Blogger sue said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:22 PM  

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