I Don’t Want to Get Along
By Rev. Tom Gaulke, First Trinity Lutheran Church of Bridgeport
I used to wish we could “all just get along and love each other.”
I no longer wish that.
Because I believe that, often, “getting along” can be the opposite of love.
Today, I believe that love acted out in community requires justice that is liberating.
Accepting the world as it is for the sake of “peace”
(read avoiding conflict at all costs),
means that we accept the world as it is.
I believe faith calls us to not be of this world, but to transform this world.
We no longer strive to “get along,” but to move a world that isn’t okay,
and is still longing for liberation, release,
and the peace that comes from justice,
rather than shutting-up and letting the loudest most abrasive bully control the whole classroom.
God’s Kingdom asks us not to get along, but, rather, to lift up and tear down.
To bring in what has been put out,
and even to exclude those who are determined to keep out that which God would pull close, to call defiled what God has made clean.
Certainly all people are welcome at God’s table. But not so they can sit at supper and preach hate. All are welcome at the table, because at the heart of faith’s message is a community, a nation, and a world where everyone is able to eat.
I don’t want to get along with those who control the world’s wealth and use it for selfish gain and excess while our people are dying, our schools are closing, and our earth is melting as a result. I don’t want to get along with those who believe my sisters and brothers don’t deserve the same dignity and rights as they do–because of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation.
In love, we must call for repentance. A repentance that starts with John the Baptizer’s call to
“Share. Don’t abuse your power. And don’t rip people off.”
This message is at the heart of much of Christ’s teaching,
as is the call to love one another, to bind up the broken, to release the captives, to resurrect, to cast out demons, and to bring in the left out and the pressed down,
and not to simply “get along.”
May God give us hearts of love, so that we never get along,
but rather get up,
and get on,
so that we might fight with passion for a justice that liberates
in our lives, in our communities, in our political situations, and in our hearts,
and Hope that looks for the Life of a world where all people are valued, and all of Creation is fed.