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Living into a beloved community

January 10, 2013
As we approach the annual celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I am reminded of his emphasis on working toward the creation of a “beloved community.”

One of the qualities to be found in the “beloved community” is civility.

We have just “survived” political campaigns for a variety of offices and a “fiscal cliff” scenario that demonstrated anything but civility. But it is not only in the world of politics we find a seriously short supply of civility.

Neighbors, families, organizations, churches — all struggle with issues that cause division and conflict hampering the building of community and the creation of peace.

Before we put away everything Christmas, may we keep the true meaning of why this season is observed — the celebration of the gift of the One who brings peace and the ways to create a beloved community filled with hope and joy.

Jesus teaches us to communicate with authenticity, to care enough to confront difficult issues honestly, to build bridges with integrity, and above all, to relate with love and respect (civility).

The poet, Maya Angelou, writes in “Amazing Peace,” that Christmas comes into a “climate of fear and apprehension and the world is encouraged to come away from rancor, come the way of friendship.”

The word that comes for Angelou and, hopefully, for all is “peace.”

As she says, “Not just the absence of war, but true peace — a harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies — so we may learn to look beyond complexion and see community — and on this platform of peace, we can create a language to translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.”

In 2013, let us work for, teach the children and live into the “beloved community” God created us to be.

May is the minister at Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church.

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