When you go into a Christian church oftentimes you will see at the front an image of a human being. A man, hanging on an execution device, hanging in pain. A human being. A person.
What binds us together, what we have in common, begins with this: we are human beings. Each of us is a human person. And we are all created, equal, in the eyes of creation, creator, the universe.
What we have in common is also, often, pain. What redeems this pain is what binds us together.
We do not always know what it is. Empathy, sympathy, compassion. Horror. And also love.
We have before us in these uncertain days, in a time of anxiety and anticipation, a sense of ourselves as human beings who are under threat.
Some of us are undocumented, some of us are unwise, some of us are unemployed, some of us are about to lose our health insurance, our jobs, our livelihoods, our homes, our nation. Our identity as citizens - as something less than the fullness of who we are. (Granted, we are more than these. But still it hurts.)
That fullness of human identity is something nobody can take away from us. It is indelible.
Certain inalienable rights - life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness (and material well-being) - are among them. We won’t lose these.
But what we have in common, today, in this place, includes a feeling of being under threat. Or of standing with those who more materially, dramatically, are.
We have always been there. We have always been among those who are under threat. Because we are human. And that is part of our story. And that is what binds us together. Today. Always. Eternally.
May we remember who we are, and under whom we are one. Amen.