A Letter from Jane
I may have a learning to share. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I have a ‘wondering’ to share and think more about.
This past Friday we had an Urban Hub meeting. The Urban Hub (Augsburg, CAIR-MN, Bethany, ICSA/Dar Al-Hijrah and Trinity) has been meeting for almost 2 years and has been regularly serving Coffee and Tea outside Cedar-Riverside mosques after Friday Juma prayers. This simple yet very meaningful activity was, in part, in response to the Muslim travel ban put in place in January 2017.
Friday was the first time that Darul Quba joined us. We have done the Coffee and Tea there twice, but this was the first time that anyone from there agreed to come. I think they might become a part of our group. We did some planning for the next Coffee and Tea and other activities we are considering getting involved in as a group in the neighborhood. We talked about a couple of opportunities for Iftars during Ramadan and maybe doing something during the Nobel Peace Prize Forum at Augsburg this coming Fall.
was a very big deal. That they were hesitant, have been for some time about this whole thing. (I’m not sure why, but in my mind I kind of likened it to how fifty years ago Catholics and Lutherans didn’t do things together either. We Lutherans were never too sure about them.) But, the only reason Darul Quba considered joining us was because Trinity and Augsburg were involved.
My wondering is this: Has the Holy Spirit been at work here? The Gospel reading for Sunday was about Jesus the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18). About there being other sheep who were not part of the fold yet. Was this the Spirit at work somehow bringing us together in the community? However the people from Darul Quba were thinking about this, did the Spirit somehow open the door for this? In all of us, but particularly in them? Was this just the right time, the kairos for this to happen? For a living example of the fold coming together already here in this place?
After all, in this reading Jesus never defined the fold, who is in it. Only that he or God keeps looking for them. And, the abundant life that Jesus says he came to bring (John 10:10). That abundant life Jesus was talking about happened when the blind man was healed and could see and was then restored to the community. In this reading Jesus never mentions any rules or pre-requisites for being in the fold. Not believing or doing this or that, obeying any rules or practices. Only that apparently Jesus and God aren’t done looking and inviting yet.
Actually, I think we’re all already a part of the fold. We just don’t see it.
This is not exactly what I thought I signed on to do back in the day when I was ordained. But I have come to see that if God’s grace is truly unlimited, radical, and a gift – why not? Who are we to decide who is in and who is out? In fact, I’m very tired of trying to figure it out.
This is my wondering.
See you in church,
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