It has come as a surprise to some during our Luther 500 series to learn that all of us Christians came from the same trunk on the family tree. We all came from the Roman Catholic Church once upon a time. I am indebted to Catholic scholars, Catholic priests and Catholic friends for being the United Methodist Christian and United Methodist pastor that I am today; and this in spite of the fact that I have differences of opinion (sometimes significant differences) with those same people over issues of doctrine and practice (ordination of women comes to mind!). Nonetheless, they are my sisters and brothers in the faith for whom I am thankful to God.
I think this should give us prayerful pause in our current culture wars that are quick to demonize the other who does not agree with me on a point of doctrine or practice, whether it is religious or political. The fact remains: we are all related. We all come from the same trunk of the one family tree. Most of us come from the same trunk of the same religious tree - the Abrahamic tree - Jewish, Christian and Muslim, with all flavors of each. And most of us come from the same political tree, the one that found root in this land and sought "liberty and justice for all."
As strange as it seems at times, those "others" are more related to us than we might want to believe ... thanks be to God! I know I am a better human being for that connection.
See you at the connecting place this Sunday,