“Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

Does anyone else remember these words from Rodney King several years ago? I’ve been reminded of them recently because of some work-related “stuff.”

My work is related to my denomination, and sometimes it seems very difficult for us to be willing to look at each other through God’s eyes. If we disagree with someone–especially if our disagreements are theological in nature!–then it is very easy to demonize the other.

Bill Tammeus is a faith columnist I read regularly. In his last column, he made what I consider some comments about church. He indicated that he’s belonged to his congregation for 30 years–and could easily have found reasons to quit at various times. But, he says, “…each time I encounter some crisis, I’m obligated to think about the nature of church membership and why I was drawn to this particular congregation….I’m there because in some mysterious way I have felt called to be there, felt drawn into the responsibilities and privileges of being part of a congregation where souls are cared for, where God is worshipped and where we seek to minister to ourselves and others in times of both pain and joy.” For him, it’s about commitment, about “saying yes to a divine invitation.”

That doesn’t mean we have to agree with each other. There are going to be disagreements, because we each have our personal walk with God. But getting along with each other means (in my opinion) recognizing that–and looking for the ways in which we work together to bring healing ministry to a broken world, rather than adding to that brokenness…and letting God work through us.

“Can’t we just get along?” Seems to me that because of our unique personalities and differences, this is only going to be possible if we are willing to listen..and live…Jesus’ responses to the one who wanted to prove his “rightness” when he asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus said,

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

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