Fourth Sunday of Lent: Birthing the Beloved Community

BY MARIE DENNIS | March 10th, 2024
Today’s readings
Versión en español

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…

Michael Nagler, founder of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, in his book The Third Harmony talks about “the new story” that is replacing the “old story” told by the dominant white culture about scarcity, competition and violence. He insists that violence is not the nature of humans – that love, faith, trust and the desire for community, peace and well-being are central to our identity and that nonviolence is “not only at home in the new story, it is the new story.”  Nonviolence is a spirituality and a way of life, a new way of thinking and a potentially universal ethic that could guide the world, including in times of crisis like these, toward peace rooted in justice rather than justified war; toward respect and inclusion rather than exploitation. 

Look around! We all know thousands of people who are giving their lives to making this new story real – rejecting violence in all its forms, celebrating diversity and promoting respect for the rights of all people, believing that radical inclusion is the foundational message of God’s only Son in the Sermon on the Mount.

What we are birthing will be closer to the beloved community; it will be anti-racist, diverse and socially just. It will be built on right relationships with each other and with the natural world. It will not depend on weapons of war but on a commitment to inclusive human dignity and respect for the integrity of creation. It will be diverse, nonviolent, a new way of being – the gift of a God who so loved the world that he gave us his only Son.

2 replies
  1. Eileen H. Monti
    Eileen H. Monti says:

    Violence is, unfortunately, not reserved for “white culture”. The Old Testament clearly shows that. We all and each are susceptible to the devil’s temptation towards cruelty and violence towards our brothers. It is God’s grace that gives us the strength and wisdom to reject that and love and help others.


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