Let us then stand in solidarity with the poor and the excluded, remembering that faith's practices are not intended to expand our pleasure or produce novelty. Behavior pleasing to God makes a simple claim: caring for the lonely and the poor and being a people attentive to "the fatherless and widows in their affliction." Let us throw ourselves into humdrum tasks and the ordinary work of mercy and justice.... Let us act boldly against the powers of death that surround us and reclaim from the cult of insipid godliness the courage to offend the pious and the proud. Let gratitude and the humility of participation shape our devotion to life. Let us resolve to make and keep others free, and let us resist the urge to colonize God for our group's needs even as we seek to keep redemptive spaces open. Let us live with passionate worldliness in the brilliant and fleeting time of our mortal life, and let our witness to peace grow out of the convictions of our faith, the audacity of our hope, and the generosity of our love. Let us never forget that the community of Christ exists as a structure with four sides open tot he world.
Charles MarshThe Beloved
Charles Marsh is Professor of Religion at the University of Virginia and Director of the Project on Lived Theology. He is the author of Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the award-winning God's Long Summer, and The Last Days. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia