Jesus’s Family Values

In his 2015 book “Songs My Grandmother Sang” our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry wrote, “I learned what I believed in the songs I heard my family―especially my grandmother―sing. We sang our faith every day.” And one of those songs was:

In Christ there is no East or West
In him no South or North
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

Hymnal 1982, #529

Bishop Curry writes: “Jesus came to show us the way to become more than merely a collection of individual, ethnic, national, ideological or even religious self-interests. God came among us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth to show us the to overcome our nightmare and realize God’s dream … Our vocation as disciples of Jesus is to live out his family values in personal living and public witness, to help realize God’s dream.”

“I have a dream,” God says.
“Please help me to realize it.
It is a dream of a world whose ugliness and squalor and poverty,
its war and hostility, its greed and harsh competitiveness,
its alienation and disharmony
are changed into their glorious counterparts,
when there will be more laughter, joy, and peace,
where they will be justice and goodness and compassion
and love and caring and sharing.
I have a dream that swords will be beaten into plowshares
and spears into pruning hooks,
that my children will know that they are members of one family,
the human family,
God‘s family,
My family.”

In God’s family there are no outsiders.
All are insiders.
Black and white,
rich and poor,
gay and straight,
Jew and Arab,
Palestinian and Israeli,
Roman Catholic and Protestant,
Serb and Albanian,
Hutu and Tutsi,
Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu,
Pakistani and Indian — all belong.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “God Has A Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time.

As we face the challenges of polarization and division in our nation and in our world, we turn again to this vision of a world redeemed, healed and whole as we pray for our whole human family:

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, page 815

[photo: Janet Kawamoto, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles]

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