31st January

Beyond Nationalism

In Christ there is no difference between Jews and foreigners, between citizens and alien workers. Galations 3: 28

Brian Keenan, the Belfast journalist who became a hostage in Beirut, wrote that in his home city there was an unseen and uncontrollable malevolence: ‘Out of a sense of frustration, of fear, of a raging thirst for identity and purpose, it seemed that people were drinking in this poison. Some unconsciously, and some by choice until they became intoxicated with rage and despair and helplessness’

Keenan himself made ‘the mythic leap and crossed the Jordan … There are those who cross the Jordan and seek out truth through a different experience from the one they are born to, and theirs is the greatest struggle. To move from one cultural ethos into another, as I did, and emerge embracing them both demands more of a man than any armed struggle. For here is the real conflict by which we move into manhood and maturity. For unless we know how to embrace the other we are not men and our nationhood is wilful and adolescent.’
Brian Keenan of Belfast An Evil Cradling
Wales’ national saint David has been pictured by a modern Welsh poet as God’s Gypsy who “brought the church to our homes, and took bread from the pantry and bad wine from the cellar, and stood behind the table like a tramp so as not to hide the wonder of the Sacrifice from us. After the Communion we chatted by the fireside, and he talked to us about God’s natural order, the person, the family, the nation and the society of nations, and the Cross keeping us from turning any one of them into a god”.
David Gwenallt Jones

God of all peoples
help us to find our deepest identity in you.
Christ incarnate in my people
help us to forgive what has been done to us.
Spirit between peoples
help us to be like you, by giving and receiving from others.

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