Posts Tagged ‘African memorabilia’

Shadow Dancing

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Matthew 11: 16-17 “. . . to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates, ‘We piped to you and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’”

Listen . . . Can you hear the sound of music? Can you hear the children laughing? Can you hear the cries of grief and despair?

Someone stole a necklace from our Ilula Orphan Program display at the Pike County Fair. We emphasized that the proceeds from the sale of the African handcrafted memorabilia were to benefit HIV Aids orphans. Pure religion is enacted by caring for orphans and widows. Jesus indicated that as you do not help the least of people you have no part of him. Some people dance to a different tune. The price of the necklace was made up by a volunteer.

A misguided Norwegian assailant murdered 77 men, women, and children last week because of religious differences. Deliberate acts of killing innocent children along with a seemingly lack of remorse complicates our abilities to comprehend rationality for such atrocities as a just war or capital punishment. Where are those among us who cannot weep as the world wails? As you mistreat others you mistreat the Christ.

A former missionary to New Guinea explained that part of her mission service training involved in-depth study of tradition and religious culture. The God of the indigenous people just might be your God. Why can we not dance to the sound of the pipers? Can we hear the beat of pluralism in the drums? Those to whom Jesus was speaking could not hear the music either. The ways in which we withhold love and solidarity from others, we withhold it from Christ.

Can you hear the sound of the music? Some in this global village may be on the verge of shadow dancing.

Of course this text is intended to reflect a Pharisaical comparison of the emphatic teachings of John the Baptist with the compassionate instructions of Jesus. In the larger context, Jesus noticeably emphasizes love to all peoples regardless of religion, culture, and tradition.

How are you sharing faith with persons of other cultures and traditions?

How can Christians and persons of other religions be in mission together?

Is pluralism relevant in our global village?

How can Christians practice pluralism and be faithful to the gospel?