i’m a GenXer who flies with Gen Y
and i can’t stand religion that can’t handle “why?”
like brother stipes, i was losing my religion
but like newton before me, i found it …was blind but now i see
like marley’s son sings it, love is my religion
my religion is agape
my religion is the glue that unconditionally brings out the best in each other and holds us together
and because jesus dunked me in a giant vat of that thick and sticky agape adhesive,
i promise to love you by holding doors open for you and
offering to share my umbrella when it rains
i promise to love you by not wearing ear-buds in the gym so i can be available if you need a spot
i promise not to walk around looking at my e-vices when i’m out on the town
i promise to love you by not only not txtng while driving but also by embracing that awkward time of silence with you in the elevator or on the subway by not pretending to be txtng someone to avoid interacting with you!
my religion is to promise to at least catch your eyes and give you a smile if i see you begging on the street
i promise to acknowledge your existence and honor your humanity
i promise to buy you a meal and learn about your life
and if i have some work to do around the yard,
i promise to invite you to hop in my car and do that work so you can earn an honest days pay for an honest days work.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
…and my religion is to lie down with you to keep you warm — and ponder that “third strand”
my religion is to come to your side to help you fight your battles
my religion is to volunteer at local soup kitchens, and to read the local paper, and to write letters to that paper, and to volunteer for political campaigns, or at least to vote!
my religion is to promise to help build homes for you through Habitat for Humanity
my religion is to increase awareness of your hunger through joining my local Crop Walk
my religion is to reduce your hunger by lobbying congress through Bread for the World
my religion is to help you get the right to marry the person you love, if the powers that be tell you you can’t
my religion is to give a damn about you
— trusting that you give a damn about me.
my religion is to promise to ask you “how is it with your soul?”
and my religion is to hope that you ask that of me
my religion is to sing my heart out with my church’s gospel choir so i can express my highs and my lows
as i hear the heart-aches and joys of those around me
my spirituality isn’t private, and it isn’t personal,
and neither is yours
you are my brother and i am your keeper
please tell me that you are mine
xx – Roger
Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who directs the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity