This week, many people from our St. Mark’s family are crossing borders. Over thirty of us have come to Mexico to give and receive gifts that will strengthen the bonds of love and support that God has created between us. On Friday, over twenty more from St. Mark’s will go to the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana, where they will renew old friendships and welcome new ones as they live and work with the people of the Chippewa Cree tribe. These quiet endeavors will not catch the attention of the news media, but they matter greatly to us and to the future we share with all the people of the earth.
As racist-inspired violence continues to tear at the fabric of our country and our global community, we are thankful for every opportunity we have to discover God in the other and to celebrate the rich diversity that God has created within the human family. Last week, when a 21-year-old named Dylann Roof killed nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a professor of religion and Africana studies named Anthea Butler said: “Where did this man, who killed parishioners in their church during Bible study, learn to hate black people so much?” My heart aches with her, and I am grateful for all those who dare to ask the hard questions such as this.
Looking to the future, I pray that more and more people will ask a different question. As they see the transformation that is taking place in this broken world, I pray that they are inspired to say: “Where did this man or this woman learn to love so much?” Perhaps the answer will emerge, in some small way, from experiences of border crossings like the ones we make this week, and from the border crossings you make whenever you discover God in the other and celebrate the rich diversity that God has created in the human family.
Pastor Jan Ruud