Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Every Day, and then the Rest

“Imsh’allah, orthodox” the grey bearded, priestly hatted Christian orthodox cleric yelled out to us. He did not break his stride. By God’s will, you should be orthodox, really was what he was saying.

On Saturday I was walking in the Christian Quarter of the Old City with an acquaintance, a Melkite priest of the Greek Catholic Church. He had on only a clerical collar with his sweater; no robe or hat that would reveal his church allegiance. My new friend, a good hearted soul with a well rounded laugh yelled back, “orthodox, the true faith”. His laughter echoed off of the ancient stone street. He was untouched by the obvious religious slur.

So is the life in Jerusalem where your garb defines your order of religious loyalty and practice. It’s where your attire can be a source of consternation to another. Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that things will change in the foreseeable future. As Rudyard Kipling said, “East is east and West is west and never the twain shall meet”.

Somehow, I just don’t think this is what the apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote in the book of Galatians, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (3:27) Are Christians not all of one baptism? OK, I know that is a problematic question, but, at the very least, shouldn’t our metaphorical clothing resemble the cause of Christ? The clothing that we slip on might well define our doctrinal position on the Christian theological spectrum. It is also the material clothing that covers up what is in our hearts and minds.

I believe that the Sabbath rest presents us with an opportunity to take off the outer garments of life which define and divide us. It then gives us the time to examine the inner garments our souls. Let us clothe ourselves from the inside out in the beauty and grace of God’s great love. Let us put on justice and peace so that our lives are unmistakably walking in the path that God has prepared for us.

1 comment:

hoppy said...

Well, We had a bad winter storm last night. I worshipped on the couch in clothing that defines my practice: sweat pants and sweat shirt. Gotta go get my slippers. See ya.