Our day today began with prayer – and then moved into a radical bible study. Looking at 2nd Samuel 13:1-22, we considered what this text means for seeking peace in the community? What kind of example does it lay out? What is the context in which we should read it? What does it say to us about the violence that exists within our communities today?
Our opening plenary moved to develop that question even more – as we heard from a Palestinian Christian, a woman from the Indian Dalit community, and other human rights activists about the struggles of their communities. What does it say about us as a church that we allow these, and other, forms of discrimination to exist within our midst?
Today, from the bible study to the plenary, was a stark reminder that if we are going to be a church that seeks a Just Peace, we must address the violence that is hidden within our own walls – violence against those we label “other”, and those who are marginalized by the systems in which we exits. As the Just Peace Handbook phrased the question, “The challenge, therefore, is: what do we, as churches, peace activists, and movements, have to offer as alternative models of community? How do we encourage and ensure our communities to be open, just, and inclusive?”
For me, it starts with being willing to preach the rape of Tamar, and listen to its implications. What about you?