This Sunday, we celebrate "World Communion Sunday," and remember that our communion table spreads all around the world. And, I've been feeling especially called to remember that our faith makes us claim citizenship in God, rather than any nation, lately.
This week, our scripture includes a famous passage from the Psalms, captured often in song. It sings about stopping by the River of Babylon, and weeping.
There, the song mournfully sings, we remembered Zion. Divided off from the promise we'd hoped to live into, we sing a lament to God.
Now, in my mind, "Zion" can mean a lot of things--certainly, it has meant the land of the people of Israel. Wikipedia can tell you more about that.
The meaning that has my heart this week is to understand "Zion" as a way of naming the promise of a world that reflects God's intentions and dreams. Like the bold hymn that comes out of the African-American church, "Marching to Zion." Beautiful, beautiful Zion.
If Zion means, for us, the world as God intends it, and, if (especially this week) we remember that the world is big and diverse and full of people (young and old, rich and poor, women and men) who all belong in those dreams and intentions of God...then, I think, we get drawn toward something truly incredible.
Most days, this means I'm going to have to change a lot--to refocus my own hopes and work to reflect God's hope that all people might be well. And, I suspect it's going to mean change for all of us in the US, as we claim belonging in God even more fully, and dare to put that above the interests of our isolated group, state or nation.
Perhaps that's why we sing a sad song--Zion feels so far, far off.
All this is starting to sound big, and difficult.
Which makes me grateful for this week's Gospel story: even though it seems crazy (that's my addition, not Jesus' words), just a little bit of faith--say, faith that, if you could hold it in your hand, would look as little as a mustard seed--can do dramatic things.
May it be so.
(And, to help encourage us all, I'm told there's to be a bit of banjo in the band this weekend. So come ready for toe-tapping. Or more.)