‘WE ARE ONE IN THE SPIRIT” (Peter Scholte)

We are one in the Spirit,

We are one in the Lord.

We are one in the Spirit,

We are one in the Lord.

And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love,

By our Love,

Yes, they” know we are Christians by our love.

We will work with each other,

We will work side by side.

We will work with each other,

We will work side by side.

And we’ll guard each man’s dignity 

and save each man’s pride.

We will walk with each other

We will walk hand in hand.

We will walk with each other,

We will walk hand in hand.

And together we’ll spread the News

That God is in our land.  

Classism – the establishment of certain levels of society,  based on cultural bias. Traditionally, society has been structured along class lines, mostly determined by those who decide that they belong to the upper (superior) class. This is true throughout cultural structures, including religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church. Historically, the structure of the pyramid has been the symbol, with those seated at the very top level, expecting obedience and deference. Popes and kings have engaged in wars to establish who was on the top rung – who was the one in charge. Popes and Bishops have lived in mansions, palaces, with servants catering to their every whim, expecting immediate obedience and determining their position as well as the social structure; the status of those at the various stages of the pyramid.

In our modern world, the royal privileges that gathered all power and wealth to the top levels, has evolved into a similar structure more openly controlled by economic forces. Power and wealth have always been tied together, with those in charge doing all that they could to control the system. They do what they are forced to do in helping all members of their system see how dependent they were on maintaining that particular structure and fighting change. The Base of the pyramid provided the wealth and the armies that it took to maintain those at the top. Today, throughout the world, governments work to convince those at the lowest levels of their particular pyramid, that they need to give their lives if necessary to maintain their cultural myth and those who symbolized that myth.  Propaganda, or shaded stories, creating heroes our of those who claimed to the top on the backs and lives of others, helps make believers out of all.

The priest or bishop is more important, because they have the power; the power to forgive sins, to bring Christ to the altar. The Popes for centuries have struggled to acquire power be seen as the active and living voice of God, with the power of heaven or hell in his hands and in the hands of those that he appoints.  As in all structures, economic and governmental, the church creates and nurtures an aristocracy. Each visible structure as well as those somewhat invisible, creates it’s own levels from the top to the bottom, with the base providing the support for those who depend on an obedient base for maintaining their status as privileged. Those on top depend on the obedience of those at the various levels of that social structure.

It is obvious that structures are needed. The body is an organized structure, containing both weaknesses and strengths; but every part of the body is necessary to the whole. It when those who perceive themselves to be on top, see themselves as the center of their universe and that they are there to be served, that greed and thirst for power, see that all others are there to serve them, that corruption becomes a cancer that kills the whole body. When we fail to understand that each and every person is necessary for the good health and live of the whole, then we are indeed very ill. It seems that every organization goes through the experience of decay and death in order to give birth to new structures; a resurrection.

We keep learning that all authority is called to serve the common good. As we continue to move from the pyramid model to the circle model, where all are active participants, but we learn slowly. Fear, jealousy and greed keep us from making great leaps. Those in positions of power work to maintain those structures, while creating and maintaining the cultural myths of division. Globalization is nothing new; it has been part and parcel of human growth for thousands of years. The human population keeps growing and spreading out in order to find the necessities of life; peace, safety, food, housing, and meaning. We keep looking to become one while at the same time, reluctant to give up our  particular traditional way of thinking. We fail to see the necessity and the beauty of diversity, and therefore have a difficult time accepting other gifts; other languages or beliefs. We all tend to live in an either/or mind-set; we struggle with the both/and concept and therefore the idea of the body being composed of many parts. At the same time, we understand that each part of the body contributes to the good of the whole and that all parts are needed for good health and life.

In the Gospel Message, there is no place for division, for labeling others or for greed for power. We are called to let go of our own ego, recognizing that we are not the center of the universe and that all others are not born in order to serve the ME. We need to be gift to one another – to help one another, to nourish and heal one another. We are one creation. In the Circle, God is the center that holds all together – that power is love and Jesus taught his disciples that love is that food that creates community. The Holy Spirit keeps pulling and pushing us along the path – and the human pilgrimage is difficult and demanding – but we cannot quit; we will continue the journey for the sake of the generations of the past and of the future; those yet to arrive. We are called to show them the way; a way of faith, hope and love.

As we celebrate the Conception and Incarnation; the proclamation of the Good News, the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and Pentecost as one season, we also see in this News, the story of life itself – Creation constantly renewing and becoming; letting the old die and the new be born. Difficult moments in the history of life; of human history, demonstrate this operating reality time and time again. When we look backwards, we see the hand of God, and when we look around, we see the face and the hands of God; and we anticipate the birth and renewal of life with all of the attending struggle and pain. But in this, we find the Holy Spirit!











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