Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More Fully Human

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Bishop Linda Lee
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.---Isaiah 62: 3-4, NRSV

This scripture reminded me of my trip in January when I hosted a Wisconsin Annual Conference pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We were blessed to visit many sacred sites and learn more about the ancient context of our faith and its relationship to our lives as Christians today. We also spent time with people directly affected by the realities of living in the midst of the land sacred to three faiths--Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

Have the courage to be fully human
One of the people we met was a young man who was an ex-Israeli soldier. He talked about the things he and other soldiers were required to do in the Palestinian occupation that conflicted with their understanding of who they were as faithful Jewish people. After telling us his story, he indicated that he asked himself – is this really who we are as Jewish people? Is this really how we want to be? His conscience compelled him to invite other former soldiers to ask these same questions of other Jewish people. As he concluded his remarks, I thanked him for having the courage to challenge people to be more fully human. Being more fully human means more honest with ourselves about how we are relating to other human beings – whatever our role or position.

In the United Methodist Church, we ask congregations to take a Human Relations Day offering in January. And in February, we celebrate Black History Month. It is a good time to consider in the United Methodist church in Wisconsin how we are living out our faith in Jesus Christ. Are we being the way we really want to be as representatives of Jesus Christ in the world? Can we be more fully human?

Find ways to appreciate each other
God delights in humanity and rejoices over us in all our humanness – he even delights in our imperfection, or when we are desolate or forsaken. The question is – do we delight in one another?  It is a good time for us to find ways to delight in the spirit of God within each of us. As we abide in Christ, we become more fully human.
How can you be more fully human?

--Bishop Linda Lee

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
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