Discipleship goes far beyond!
Discipleship goes far beyond personal piety or communal loyalty. Whole nations, not just individuals, are called to leave the house of fear, where suspicion, hatred, and war rule, and enter the house of love, where reconciliation, healing, and peace can reign. - Henry Nouwen.
With the last election season, we have seen an increased number of hostile behavior, attitudes about spirituality, and misinterpretation of the Gospel to each one's liking by politicians, preachers, and leaders of all groups. What is important for us today, as a divided nation, is to reflect what truly is the nature of spirituality.
Henry Nouwen points out clearly that we behave poorly when we act out of fear and we do well when we do things out of love. Of course, this is the same message from our Presiding Bishop. But then this is not from the presiding bishop or Henry Nouwen, it is what Jesus said. Act out of love and not fear. This acting out of love is deeper and wider than personal piety or church life. It has to become a national behavior in which our nation is changed. it is to be based on the principle that in the end, Spiritual life needs to be defined by our care for the world around us in real-time, in the real sense, and in true living. Not ideological or hypothetical. It is defined by what we do daily rather than what we postulate about it.
I pray that we move away from the fear of the other, suspicion of the stranger, hatred towards people who are different, and the war on everything and everyone we don't like or agree with; that we are a nation of true love, genuine compassion, and unfathomable kindness.