Cosmopolitan Canopy

I’ve just spent the last two and a half days hearing about holding trusts and listening to Dr. Elijah Anderson speak poignantly about the Cosmopolitan Canopy, a metaphor for spaces of civility shared by all cultures and ethnicities. I left wondering about the possibilities of such a space existing in more than just a metaphor, a real place where all people actually feel safe when they enter and in particular real spaces where we can confidently encourage our children to enter without fear and anxiety of them being horribly violated or even acutely disrespected. Of the places that currently serve as closely as possible to cosmopolitan canopies, I still wonder about the genuineness of those who enter into the space, particularly since most leave and go back to places that are segregated and separate. Still fresh from the Trayvon and Michael Brown events the pain at least for myself re-emerges in my heart pushing out the wounds I thought were at least somewhat healed. Is there real hope? I want to say yes and yet I know that my effort and focus must be partnered with the efforts and focus of others. I know that with the grace of God in the midst of that work of two, three and many more we have much more work to do and yet much to look forward to.

Is God Silent?

As we enter into another season of Advent, is God Silent? Recently, it seems as if anything but justice is prevailing, let alone hope for a coming Christ. How can we be anything but restless and angry every time we hear of what seems like an unjust taking of someone’s life. The sad reality in our world is that the injustices and iniquities in our system have always been there, but in the best of times we forget they’re there. When things are particularly good, when it seems as if God is blessing us with awesome deeds that we don’t expect, we put down our guard. Our sensitivity to the injustices in the world seem minute, remote or simply an exception as if it only happens once in a while. Yet when the world is loud with restless protest, we remember and are awakened to the fact that injustice happens somewhere every day. Perhaps not in the taking of a life but in the mocking of integrity, belittling the sense of belonging, and demeaning the dignity of every human being. We must stop falling asleep! Keep awake and remind the world through our speech and knowledge of every kind given in grace and strengthened by our hope, that God is not silent.

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