Genuine Hospitality

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Creative Commons hospitality” by Yutaka Seki is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1 Corinthians 10:14   So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.  (MSG)
[Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary LanguageColorado Springs: NavPress, 2002]

Interacting with people of other traditions
   religious or cultural
      can be tricky
no more so in our day
   than in Paul’s
   except that
      the issue now is not
      food salvaged from sacrifice
         sanctity or hospitality
instead it’s
      xenophobia or hospitality
      purity or compassion

One right-wing pundit
stated the case quite clearly
it’s not about illegal aliens
it is about all immigrants

The land whose national, cultural identity
has been formed and re-formed
   by generation after generation
      of immigrants
is now too sophisticated
      mature
      good
      pure
      comfortable
   to receive the ‘unwashed’
is no longer the land
      of hope
      and promise

Begone you Hispanics
      Somalis
      Sudanese
      Liberians
Begone you Germans
      Irish
      Italians
      French
      Swedes
      Japanese
      Chinese
      ..

Let’s get back to the pure rootstock
let’s give America back to the Lakota Sioux
      Cherokee
      Shawnee
      Apache
      Twighttwee
      Pawnee
      Omaha
      Miami
      Ojibwe
      Sac
      …

Perhaps, just perhaps,
      there is a better way
   perhaps hospitality can overtake animosity
      compassion can replace hatred
      vision can supplant bias
      love can dislodge antipathy
      human decency can crowd out idiocy

      justice can oust oppression
      insistence and calling in the name of God can transform..

without hope and promise
   the Commonwealth of God’s Peace and Justice
      is just “pie in the sky”
without insurrectionists
   willing to put reputation and life on the line
      the Commonwealth is just a pious dream
with too many people of faith
   who for too long have been too quiet and
      the Commonwealth will remain locked in the pages of scripture

When insistence insists, persistently
   when calling calls, constantly
   when invitation invites, in perpetuity
   when nudging nudges, naggingly
when all this happens
   in the name of God (perhaps)
then, something new begins to transpire
   when gun-toting protesters are invited
      into the mosque to see Moslems at prayer
      something radical can materialize
         hearts and minds can be changed / transformed / softened

Ultimately, the Commonwealth of Peace and Justice
   is not a strategy for change
      not a tactic for transformation

      not a program for renewal
      not a plan for a complete do-over
it is, however,
      the promise of changed hearts and minds
      the hope of transformed relationships
      the anticipation of transformed behaviors
      the expectation of a complete do-over

WHEN people of good will
         genuine faith
         gracious hospitality
         generous compassion
         gregarious vision
   join together
      that will, faith, hospitality. compassion, and vision
      infused with courage, audacity, fortitude, and spunk
THEN the Commonwealth will appear
      briefly
      momentarily
      a foretaste of that which is to come
         which never comes
      the possible
         which is impossible
      the impossible
         which is possible
THEN the Commonwealth will appear
   as the table of eucharistic thanksgiving
      stretches around the world
      in the joyous celebration
         of World Communion
THEN the Commonwealth will appear
   as Jews and Buddhists
   and Christians and Moslems
   and Hindus and Taoists
      acknowledge their common resistive nature
         to oppression and domination
         to violence and war
         to prejudice and malice
and peace and justive will fill th earth

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