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Rise Up – God Doesn’t Make Generic People

July 17, 2015

Ok. It’s late. Midnight. Gotta get up early tomorrow for our Proclaim Justice Day. Gotta do this tonight.

Today was awesome. It was our Proclaim Community Day, a day to do some intentional learning about bearing burdens, bringing hope, building bridges, breaking chains – and just plain having fun. We participated in the Walk for Water, carrying 40 lb. jugs of water for a tenth of a mile – or 1/37 the distance a woman in sub-Saharan African carries water each day. We participated in a refugee role-play  through Lutheran Disaster Response. Through these and other events, we got the merest glimpse into the woe that can befall our fellow human beings. We learned how we can help, yes, but first we saw ourselves in shoes that might, for a slight shift in circumstance, be ours.

We learned about the real stories of real people, and how we are called to share and to bear their buderns together. Tonight at the Mass Gathering, Dr. Eric Barreto noted that, “God doesn’t make generic people.” And that’s a good thing. Our diversity is not something to be overcome. We’re not all the same because God didn’t make us the same, and thanks be to God for that! In her message at the end of the night, Pastor Alexia Salvatierra spoke about the inhumane immigration system we’ve given into in our nation, focusing especially on the plight of youth who ought to be given asylum and yet are turned away, returned to the gangs they were seeking to flee. Will we share and bear these burdens, or will we turn our back on those who – like us – are part of the body of Christ? We proclaim community when we share and bear buderns and, when we do, the burdens become light.

Today was a day full of community for me. I managed to run into the contingents from my internship congregation (Good Sheperd, Plover, WI), my former congregation (First English, Appleton, WI), and my next congregation (Grace, River Forest, IL). I also saw seven or eight of my Yetters from last summer and about 4,278 pastors that I know. It was a great joy to have these communities from different parts of my life – past, present, and future – be part of my community today. But best of all was the community that continues to grow and emerge through the five of us from St. Peter’s as we share our burdens and joys with each other, finding Jesus along the way.

And now, good night, my non-generic, very beloved friends. Thanks for being in community with me.

From → NYG 2015

One Comment
  1. sschwar@comcast.net permalink

    Thank You Paster Lyle for the excellent observations and sharing.   Looking forward to meeting you and hoping we can develop good initiatives stemming from your arrival for our stewardship efforts. Have a safe family move and don’t forget your winter jackets.   Scott Schwar Grace Lutheran, River Forest

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