At the first Sunday service of 2016, senior minister Dave Bell encouraged us all to see the turmoil in the world in a hopeful light. Rather than getting stuck in grief over expressions of violence and hatred — from the Paris shootings to widespread U.S. rejection of Syrian refugees — we can see these events as catalysts that are dissolving unsustainable ways of living on planet Earth.
Fear-based ways of relating to the world must pass away for humanity to make a leap into higher consciousness. The actions of terrorists, or the words of politicians who demonize those who seem “different,” provide fuel that can catapult humanity into embracing a higher path. In our outrage, we can be moved into action and make the world a better place.
As an example, Dave shared his experience at an Open House and Prayer Service two weeks ago at the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor. There, hundreds of people gathered to show support for our local Muslim community. To Dave’s amazement, when addressing the group, one of the imams there actually thanked Donald Trump for suggesting that U.S. mosques be closed. Why would he express gratitude for such a hostile expression of intolerance? Because those very remarks have galvanized so many members from Christian and other faith communities to stand up for their Muslim brothers and sisters. It is providing opportunities for people everywhere to move into a deeper expression of oneness.