I'll never forget seeing the historic marker on the street: on this site on August 6, 1945 the Americans killed 75,000+ of our citizens by dropping the first atom bomb. There was a before picture of a calm Hiroshima street, with what you'd imagine seeing in city in the 1940s: some cars, some shops, some kids, some moms, some dads - people living life. And of course, there was an after picture: decimation, rubble and death.
Visiting Hiroshima while on my summer college internship was about much more than learning Japanese, eating sushi and visiting temples. It opened up my consciousness to a greater reality of the fragile sacredness of all human life. Last week we remembered the events of 70 years ago in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We also remembered the tragic death of Mike Brown in a suburban St. Louis street on a hot summer day, sparking off the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement for love and justice. In the midst of such events - tragedies all - there is the possibility for hope and reconciliation. A chance for us to remember a better way: that we are all bound up, one in another, in each one's flourishing.
There was a great Chicago church leader back in the 1980s named Joseph Bernardin who popularized the phrase "a seamless garment of life." Cardinal Bernardin spoke out of his Catholic faith and convictions about the beauty and sacredness of all human life - from womb to tomb - with its ramifications for how be church and how we work for just policies in the public square.
I was moved to see that Cardinal Bernardin spoke on this subject once in Portland, back in 1986: "When human life is considered 'cheap' or easily expendable in one area, eventually nothing is held as sacred and all lives are in jeopardy."
My hope is that we at Christ Church can live out this holistic call for life because this is what it means to be church - to church on and beyond Sundays. We need each other to become who God truly wants us to be.
Will you help do your part to be that one important thread in this incredible garment that God is weaving for all of us?
You have my word I'll do my part.