Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And it was the best sermon I ever did hear

This past week we had a program at school to honor MLK, Jr. For those of you who may not be familiar with this particular acronym, that is short for "Martin Luther King, Jr." I'd like to add "The Great" after Junior, but that's sort of like "Atilla the Hun" and might be a bit of a mouthful. And his acronym would be MLK, JR.TG. No. Anyways, a young reverend from a Baptist church came and spoke. And boy, was it a great sermon. One of the best I've heard in a long while. Its probably because I'm into sociology and I give a resounding "Hell yeah!" to anyone who is astute enough to see through the American myth of individualism, but rather that we are collective communities. And this is extremely difficult to see, and I still struggle with it. He re-iterated over and over the necessity of seeing ourselves not just as individuals, but as communities. I ate this up. For dessert. Because those are very sweet words to me. I try to teach students this every day of my life: You are not an entity, isolated, free-acting being. You affect your community. You affect the college. You can affect the world. This is why its hard to get people on board with environmentalism or the end of poverty: "I don't care because it doesn't affect ME." My least favorite answer: so please come up with something better. We have have have to start seeing ourselves as collective communities or we will never get anywhere, and Christians are the WORST at seeing this--because it comes down to you and your relationship with God, and why do you have to care about anyone else if its just about you and God? We would probably not say that aloud, but it's what we believe. But the Bible is much more about collective bodies. I once had a professor who challenged us to look through the New Testament and see how many times Paul in particular uses pronouns like "ours" or "us." And let me tell you, it's a lot. If we keep getting caught in the disease that is individualism we will never get anywhere. This reverend gave me hope. Let us pray, let us pray...and let us bring heaven to earth.

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