If It Is Possible, As Far as It Depends on You, Live at Peace with Everyone, Romans 12:18
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often spoke of a “beloved community” as a place of peace that is based on both justice and equality and where conflict is resolved without violence. Most importantly, this beloved community transforms people and relationships that creates connections grounded in human dignity, friendship, reconciliation. I have been privileged every Thursday to enter a living example of the beloved community. The experience changed me.
School is out for this year, but I am going to miss a very specific Thursday afternoon assignment. My school does not have a cafeteria. So each day two teachers are assigned to walk with the students four blocks to a nearby restaurant. This is one of the activities that I truly enjoyed. Every time I walk with our group of about 25 children to the restaurant, I am reminded of the principles of living in a beloved community. On these walks I have experienced God. I often find myself humming the hymn, “He Lives”. I see Jesus in the ways the children treat one another and the care they extend to the well-being of their community. Here are a few observations and pastoral lessons that I learned on my weekly journeys.