“The casual and self-justified divisions existing across so many lines of difference within the body of Christ around the world wreak havoc and destruction to God’s witness through the church. Belhar underscores our need to confess both the reality of this brokenness and the call to live differently–to embody the demonstration of unity for which Jesus lived, prayed, suffered, died, and rose to make possible. Such restored, re-created communion is God’s model and mission in the world.”
Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar
I’m not sure the divisions are always that casual. They may be carefully calculated. Divisions may go unnoticed by the people who benefit from them, and who have created them. Casual, calculated, self-justified, unnoticed, the divisions are real. They wreak havoc and destruction in the church and in its witness. May I have the grace to notice when I create divisions as well as long-standing divisions that benefit me. May I have the courage to work to disrupt and overcome divisions.
This Lenten season I am using a new resource to explore the Belhar Confession: Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar, edited by Kerri N. Allen and Donald K. McKim. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in which I serve as a teaching elder (pastor), added the Confession of Belhar to our Book of Confessions in 2016. This confession came from the Dutch Reformed Mission Church during its historic struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
See you along the Trail.