The Congress of Worlds

Last night, my husband and I heard a performance of our favorite professional choir, Conspirare, in Austin, Texas. The director, Craig Hella Johnson, about whom I’ve written previously, imaginatively combines songs of the Christmas season with folk songs, rock songs, and songs of various cultures into a breathtakingly artistic veil of shimmering music.  In this season, especially, he chooses songs about love, acceptance, inclusion.

As the nations move into a new season peppered here and there with the Christian twist on the meaning of love, we wonder once again whether there is, indeed, hope that someday, someone will see peace in his own time.

If we are to believe the press put out by the likes of authors Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, God hasn’t appeared as masterful conqueror, smashing down the evil menace and sparing the good and peaceful.  No, God seems to have come to us quietly as human weakness,  as dedication, as mindfulness, and finally, as human shame.  How backwards!  How unworthy!  And, ‘how inefficient’ we scream!

Does anyone really believe in this God?  This God of forbearance, patience, kindness, and mercy?  I guess we are known by our actions.  And when it really counts, we, our families, and our tribes choose might over humility almost every time.  We use and abuse force, rather than trust in the power of gracious love to overcome the evil cradled within and pounding outwards.

And, what of the biggest clans, our nations?  Our global congress, our United Nations, is as full of back-stabbing, disrespect, trickery, and fighting as any institution ever is.

How can we imagine a congress of worlds?  Is it struggling through intergalactic warfare?  Is it solving the problems of starvation and destruction of whole planets, tardy as usual?  Will there be peace in the universe?

mosaic sculpture of stained glass, glass tile, and marbles

The Congress of Worlds

by Lynn Bridge, ceramic undulation by Roberta Mitchell

9″ x 13″ x 3″

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