November 7, 2019

“Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” ~2 Corinthians 5:17

Dear Friends:

I have been thinking a lot about front porches lately. In a divided world, and in the midst of such divisive politics, I miss the front porch community my grandparents had. Every evening after supper, we would sit out on the front porch swing and greet neighbors as they walked up and down the street. Sometimes they would come up and “sit awhile”, other times they would wave and call out a greeting and keep on strolling. Sometimes there were even jars of jam or green beans or other fresh veggies exchanged from the back garden. But there was always community – always folks greeting one another. And yes, it wasn’t Hallmark perfect – my oh-so Presbyterian grandmother would occasionally whisper, “She’s Catholic!” in my ear as someone passed (I suppose as we whisper our political party these days). But there was still conversation and a sense that folks were together.

So now is the time to do the work of faith: to build community, to share grace and love and even forgiveness. Now is the time to listen and to reach across the chasm to build bridges with one another – particularly those who are different than us – in political views, in race, ethnicity, abilities, or background. Which doesn’t mean that we abandon our philosophical differences; it just means we focus on all we hold in common. And make sure that everyone knows that they, too, are a part of the neighborhood.

Walking this path with you,