Most often, I consider a cancelled meeting evidence of divine grace. But today a meeting I really anticipated was cancelled, and because that is rare it prompts this post.
During my previous two pastorates there were vigorous interfaith social justice groups in which I took part. But in this town there are none, which does not mean we have no social issues worth working on. It means that our culture here is either suspicious of interfaith organizing for its political power or hostile to interfaith organizing on religious principles.
So I smiled a few weeks ago when I was invited to a meeting about Gamaliel, one of the major faith-based social justice systems in the country. Then this morning I found out the meeting was cancelled. The organizer wants to meet with me though. It turns out she is a student intern at the local Community College.
I know mighty oaks from little acorns grow, but around here we don’t even have acorns. I wish we did have ACORN, in fact. Having seen what can be done when I was in Brooklyn and Austin, I know this town needs this sort of voice. Not just to speak for the poor and the marginal but to create a common spirit that breaks down the established walls of sect and class and race.
(I just erased two fiery paragraphs because this is not the place to fulminate. Since my pews have grown tired of social critiques, I shall be silent for a while. My voice is apparently not the one that needs to be raised. But as even Simeon finally saw what was promised, there is still hope for me.)