Friday, September 09, 2005

A Failing Grade From Newsweek, September 5, 2005, in an article entitled, "In Search of the Spiritual." Page 53.
Amber Atwat, 28, is one of many converts who showed up at the Islamic center that day with her husband and 15-month-old son. Raised Southern Baptist in Tennessee, she found peace in Islam three years ago after a hard life that included an abusive husband and the death of her infant daughter. "In our church, I saw all whites," she recalls. "Then there was the black Baptist church down the road. Even though they taught the same thing, we did not mix. But in the mosque, there is one identity. I love that."
Oops. Here's what Jesus prayed for just before he died (The Bible, the book of John, chapter 17, verse 20 and following):
I pray...that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. ...May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you love me.
In the days and years after Jesus left the earth, it wasn't unusual for people to exclaim over how much his followers loved each other. In many places we see them sharing with each other and providing for people who were in need. We know that although they weren't always successful, they struggled hard to maintain this unity. In more recent days and years, it hasn't become unusual for people to observe how much his followers squabble with and despise each other. Too often we expect others to care for the needs of others and limit our giving to designated collections for the deacons' fund. We, with our many denominations and our Segregated Sundays, seem to have given up this struggle. It seems that one woman, at least, has given us a failing grade.



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