The sun is quickly setting on a very beautiful day in Jerusalem. People are rushing home from the souk with flowers and challah and will light candles very soon. Shortly I'll be leaving to have dinner with a friend whom I haven't seen since 1970 - graduation from high school. My, a lot of years have passed and I know that a lot has happened in our lives. How could it not? We were not close friends back in the day and yet, here we are meeting for dinner in the holy city of Jerusalem.
It's odd that a place can bring different peoples from places all over the world together for a chat, a cup of coffee, a discussion over current politics or the latest trends, or a friendship or an encounter, a rest. The psalmist was right, "Jerusalem, built up, a city knit together, to which tribes would make pilgrimage, the tribes of the Lord."
Whether we like it or not, we are tribal people. Let's face it. We are people bound together by love, loyalty, theological belief or passion, by ritual and heritage. Sometimes we are suspicious of the other tribes and there are times when we carefully align ourselves. We are tribes of the Lord, not tribes for the Lord. Therein lies the difference. We think we are tribes for the Lord and are not content being tribes of the Lord.
But the divine knitter is at work, and never drops a stitch. Jerusalem calls. When Christians and Muslims make pilgrimage and Jews make alyah, Jerusalem becomes a complex and holy place.
God loves us all. God created us all. Can we not all enjoy this remarkable place together in our own tribal ways?