This weekend, my daughter Siri affirmed her baptismal faith. When she was an infant, Patty and I made promises that we would do our best to raise her with some sense of the wonder and mystery of God, some knowledge of God’s love being made known in Jesus, and with an anticipation (at least a hope) that she would find a way to live that out uniquely in her own life.
In the Lutheran tradition, the service of Affirmation of Baptism creates an opportunity for the students to say “Yes” to that life.
During the service, Siri sang a song entitled Someday that helped us imagine what life would be like if God’s desire of love permeated our living. One line leapt out at me. “Someday, life would be fairer, need would rarer, and greed will not pay.”
Listening, I felt the deep paradox of that vision. I imagined the world the students live in and will encounter as they grow. It’s a world, in some places, radically different from that vision. There is shameful injustice, debilitating need, and ravenous greed that continues to create cavernous gaps between those who have and those who don’t, those who are satisfied and those who crave, those who make the rules and those violated by the gain of the rule-makers.
Part of me wanted to take all the students and say, “Let’s huddle close. It’s a dark world. Let’s do what we can to hold the darkness at bay for as long as possible.” Yet, that would neither serve them well nor offer the would a chance to breathe again.
Visions become reality when they become embodied in persons, in communities willing to courageously step into their world, sometimes with only a hope that what may be, can be!
Life can be fairer. Need can be rarer. Greed can give way to generous living.
Whereas part of me wanted to gather the students in, more of me wanted to send them out. The world needs to be different. The world needs fresh minded, imaginative, courageous students and adults willing to invest in the process of birthing that new world.
For some reason, God chose to work with us and through us to make that happen. Sometimes, I wonder why. At other times, I just wonder.
You. Me. Us. We’re part of God’s dream for a new humanity, a new way of being with one another, a new “someday” where life is fairer, need is rarer, and greed doesn’t pay.
It’s Monday. That new world awaits. How will you be part of it? Peace. Kai