At the Duke Center for Reconciliation gathering last week, during our closing worship time, a black pastor from Texas challenged us to rethink our “we.” Who is our “we”? Who is our beloved community? And he used the three presidential candidates as illustrations of how society defines the “we.”
John McCain’s age raises questions of generational divides. Is he too old? And do we identify as young or old? Boomer or Xer? Over 65 or under 30? Is that our “we”?
Hillary Clinton’s identity has raised questions of gender. Is the media sexist? And do we identify primarily along gender lines? Is that our “we”?
Barack Obama’s biracial and crosscultural background has raised questions of racial and ethnic identity. Do we identify our community on the basis of race? Is that our “we”?
Obviously all of these factors are significant and unavoidable. But if we are Christians and people of reconciliation, our identities and communities must transcend all of these dimensions and point to a larger reality. Our churches ought to be intergenerational, gender interdependent, and multiethnic and multicultural. Such is the kingdom of God, where the beloved community brings down dividing walls between slave and free, male and female, Jew and Gentile.