22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
His name is Jordan. Like the river split by Joshua – no, Elijah. Like the place where Spirit met Man and claimed Him. Perhaps like the site in Israel with the clear running Waters and the giftshop selling this holy Water in a bottle. Or perhaps more like where the tour guide takes you, the almost-creek so muddy you lose sight of the person dipped in the Water, baptized under the watch of an armed Palestinian soldier.
Jordan was the first black person I met at Grace, a beloved, unhoused Guest seeking sleep Out of the Cold. As I contemplate the One Body of Christ, I wonder about skin-deep melanin and centuries-deep injustice and whether Grace resembles the Kingdom of God or a country club. When it’s reported the ELCA is the whitest denomination in the US, they don’t mean our sanctuary walls.
I pray not to be like Moses, glimpsing a land of chocolate milk and honey he would never reach. I pray not to be like Joshua, convinced that the promised land can be obtained over the dead bodies of the “Other.” I pray to be like John, calling out to you.
Listen. Come to the Jordan. Love your brothers and sisters. Love the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Our socks will get wet and it will be uncomfortable, but that’s how it is when we wade in the Water. Let us all humbly come together to the blessed Living Water, drink, and have eternal life.
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.