Reflection 4: Peace with Everyone
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. Hebrews 12:14 14 Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (NRSV)
Essential to preparing our hearts for discernment is an intentional introspection about our own biases and prejudices.
Human history as well as salvation history are filled with accounts of humanity’s horrific offenses against itself. Slavery, genocide, marginalization, deep-rooted inequalities, violence, and maltreatment are just a few examples of the social injustice in our world and our history.
Each of us must commit to a thorough, albeit painful at times, exploration of those biases and prejudices which ultimately separate us from the full measure of our discipleship.
• What steps are you taking or have you taken to discover biases and prejudices in yourself?
• As you discover biases and prejudices you hold, how have you or are you addressing them? • What is your response to on-going social injustices in our world?
• How can the church or we as the faithful impact social injustice?
• How do you feel when you hear the words from the baptismal covenant? How do you live into these promises in your daily life? How are the promises in the baptismal covenant reflected in your action in and out of the church?
o Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
o Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
o Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
• How can we bring the vision of a church that embodies diversity, (that is, one that acknowledges that each person has talent, gifts, and the call to participate in ministry), into reality?
• What does a diverse church, one that shows God as caring for each and every one and where we can respect all people, look like? What changes do we need to make for this to happen? What do we need to learn in order to do this?
• How have I promoted equity, sensitivity, and inclusion in my life and work? How has the church promoted equity, sensitivity and inclusion through their community, work, and practices?
• How can I work to break down systems of oppression in the community and the world? How can the church do this?