From Pastor Rick Mast
All humans have blind spots, and some are also colour blind. That means that in a variety of circumstances, there are times when we are unable to see what is right there in front of us. Furthermore, we can be too close to something, even too committed to something, so close or so committed that we are unable to separate enough from it to see it clearly. This happens so often that we even have an expression for it: “Can’t see the forest for the trees”.
Another very human thing we do is this: we work to keep ourselves, and our loved ones, safe. We search for, or make, safe communities. We might call that civilization. Instinctively we gather as people who are like us. That seems right and natural. Communities like that are easy to make and maintain, at least at first. It gets complicated when we encounter conflict and differences. Then we (also instinctively) engage in one of two ways: we pull away from that gathering, or we keep some people from coming to our gathering and push the different ones, the conflicting ones, the ‘uncivilized’ ones out. This can easily escalate to physical violence, even to murder.
We acknowledge and lament that we as Canadians, including the Government and Christians, did this to Indigenous peoples. The recently discovered remains of some of those children outside of the Kamloops Residential School are witness to that.
Jesus shows us a radical new way of establishing community: bringing in the marginalized and bringing back the excluded, healing the diseased, blind and lame – by advocating love and forgiveness for all. Jesus establishes a new order, a new kingdom, a new community, a new civilization. In Mark 3 Jesus says that whoever does the will of God is His brother and sister and mother.
And thus, you should feel welcome to join our faith community here. If you’re not feeling welcome, please let someone know. We may just be hampered by a blind spot, or something like colour-blindness, or we may just be standing too close together with the people who are just like us.