Once, while leading a peace workshop (I got to lead games; I always get to lead games), we simulated an action on hunger. The youth were broken up into continents, with proportionate-ish populations, money (represented by stones) and food (represented by slices of bread). The goal of the game was that every person has one piece of bread. And every time we played it, a couple continents ended up with way more bread and money than what they started with, and a couple continents suffered huge famines and death.
“But we won!” the Europeans and North Americans would holler as I collected supplies. “We had the most!” And that’s the difference between competition and cooperation. I like competition when it’s meant to be; but I don’t think we are called to an existence of competition. I don’t think we have to be declared winners, nor do others have to be declared losers, for the Reign of God to blossom among us. In fact, I’d argue the opposite.
This Sunday, we’ll be talking about Mercy, which might be better defined as Compassion, as the starting point of Reconciliation (which is the starting point of peace). This competition/cooperation stuff plays into it, I’d bet. The newsletter is full this week, as is my week, so I’ll close up this section by saying I look forward to seeing you Sunday, because I do.