This morning before breakfast I listened to an archived speech by Krista Tippett, given to a small gathering at the United Nations headquarters on “Reconnecting with Compassion.” She spoke of the evolution from mere tolerance to compassion and examples of compassion. Tippett failed to include Jesus who was filled and moved with compassion.
In the decade of the sixties many changes took place in society that were reflected in the church. Homosexuality was one change that could not be tolerated. When I was a member of the church’s “listening Committee” I heard the stories of young men and women who could not be tolerated by their families, churches and rural communities because of their same sex orientation. Big cities welcomed them and offered a refuge among others of their kind. Tragically some lost faith, but others kept the faith and longed to be a functioning member of an Anabaptist congregation that welcomed them .
A growing number of Anabaptist congregations and conferences in this century are filled with a Jesus-like compassion and welcome those who were not tolerated by the church in previous decades.
This morning I talked to My Joy by phone. It’s snowing, she told me, and asked what do you think of that? The snow is doomed, I said. It will melt just as surely as the sun shines and the days grow longer and warmer. Now I add that cold intolerance will melt away as surely as God’s grace is greater than any law written two thousand years ago, as surely as the gentle spirit Wind transforms us, and as surely as the warm light of the compassionate Jesus shines in our hearts. That is the Old Fool’s confession of faith.
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