In many ways, this was one of the most taxing messages that I’ve delivered. Working on it compelled me to stare into a the pain of proselytizing and missionary activity around the world where people were robbed of their lands and culture and often left with nothing more than the very Bible that was used to justify their oppression. And I did this while acknowledging that personally, my experience of Christ still holds me accountable to love’s call even for those who might deny the fullness of my and other’s humanity. Of course, the irony of this is not lost on me. All I can say is that, I can see the illumination of Christ’s Way as witnessed to int he Bible, while remembering that the human way has often run contrary to it.
Indigenous People’s Day is in many ways a time of confession for all of the ways that our society’s have failed to live fully into the profession of our faith that tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Bearers of the Way are those among us who carry love’s burden in the world in the face of systems that try to leave out who God sees as eternally and naturally in.