Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed! This is the message of hope, of love and of mercy that brought us to Mexico. Doug and Kate have been reminded again and again of what makes us human as we celebrate the promise of spring in Mexico.
Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed! This is the message of hope, of love and of mercy that brought us to Mexico. Doug and Kate have been reminded again and again of what makes us human as we celebrate the promise of spring in Mexico. After six months of immersion in a culture that is friendly, colorful and proud, we marvel at all we have experienced, learned and embraced.
A communion meditation of Pastor Manuel Tovar Ruiz at “Nueva Vida” New Life Christian Church in Aguascalientes has stayed with us. He began by reminding the congregation that Jesus was a carpenter, a construction worker like several men present that morning. Manuel noted that Jesus also built a table where he invites us all to join in remembering him.
Manuel then pointed out that three hundred years before Jesus the Chinese began building the Great Wall to keep out their enemies. He reminded us that the communion table was built with the opposite intention. Jesus wants us to share the meal at his table with all people – with our enemies as well as friends, with strangers, with rich and poor, the well fed and the hungry. Manuel concluded by observing that Jesus taught us that our relationships with others, whether we are building walls or tables of sharing, have a lot to do with our relationship with God.
Over the last five months, we’ve had the opportunity here in Mexico to get to know people of all walks of life. Most have been involved in the Disciples and Congregational Churches with which we work. But not all. A favorite stop in our shopping routine is at the little corner convenience store whose exterior wall is covered by a mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the iconic image of the Catholic Church in Mexico. The owner Socorro expressed curiosity this week that we wanted to live here when so many in Mexico want to live up there, in “el norte”.
The longer we are here the more strongly we feel that our true, most important task is to live at that table of inclusion of Jesus. We’ve shared in a recent blog posting, http://erasingborders.wordpress.com, how we’ve been busy visiting the churches, preaching, improving our Spanish and getting to know many of the leaders of the churches here. But in a time when the U.S. continues building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico our vision is focused on how we might contribute to helping build that table of inclusion in our day.
And guess what! Among the furniture some friends here in San Luis Potosi have given us is a beautiful round table. It had been stored for a long time though and needed some serious attention. It needed a true carpenter’s touch. So our wonderful neighbor, Joel, offered to fix it for us. He repaired it and refinished the table and chairs. They are beautiful and we now feel better prepared to welcome our guests. So we’ve just been reminded that building the table of inclusion is a team effort.
So we invite you to help in the task. In response to the building of a wall, we can all join in helping build the table of inclusion where people on both sides of the border can meet. We can enable and encourage relationships. We can participate in the shaping of new immigration policies in the U.S. We can seize opportunities to bring people south of the U.S. border and people in the U.S. together in ways that further mutual understanding, unity and love.
A task we look forward to in the future is welcoming some of you here. It’s nearly the same distance from Los Angeles to San Luis Potosi as from LA to Kansas City. Our blog will soon feature projects here in San Luis Potosi we hope some of you will want to participate in. The table here is set; the food is delicious; we can hear the dinner bell ringing.
Paz y amor,
Doug and Kate
Doug Smith and Kate Moyer serve as Long-term Volunteers with the Joint Table for Mission Development formed by the Christian Congregational Churches of Mexico, the Christian Church (DOC), and the Fraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches (DOC) of Mexico. Doug and Kate serve as Consultants for Mission Development. Doug serves with the emphasis in stewardship and resource development. Kate serves with the emphasis on women’s development and theological education.