by Alexei Laushkin
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives takes up articles of impeachment against the President.
It’s an interesting day to consider what dialogue has to teach us in an age where the words of Pontius Pilate to Jesus have particular relevance, “What is truth?”
As Christians part of our answer is truth is a person. Truth is embodied in Jesus Christ, fully God, fully man. Because truth came down at Christmas. The word came down to dwell among us. We know the truth through relationship with the truth made flesh in Christ. For each of us has a relational aspect of faith, and, though we walk by faith and not by sight we also have the experience of growing ever more close to the truth of who Christ is for us, we grow into the stature of our security as a Christian or as the Apostle Paul puts it in Colossians 1:9-10:
“For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God”NRSV
To encounter Jesus, to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom, whether for the first time or again and again, to discover our daily need of the person of Jesus is to be in relationship.
The Trinity itself is relationship. Infinite dialogue and infinite reciprocity.
Truth in a certain sense is relational. As such dialogue is central.
To be in dialogue with other Christians is to have ones prejudices put in check. It is an uncomfortable act of being open to another part of the body that Jesus is already in relationship with. It is to grow in faith and it is to grow more deeply in your own understanding and tradition.
The pursuit of unity is at once relational and theological. The questions are sharpened the relational boundaries loosened. You become aware of divisions that you did not know existed and you become more aware of divisions you have put up in relating to others and whether they need to be adhered to.
Above all unity among Christians is a living act of prayer and it is one of repentance. Prayer to understand and live into the unity that God has already created through Christ. Repentance for removing the prejudices you once held as dear to you. Repentance of wronging others who are now becoming dear to you.
In light of that repentance comes the steps of healing that are needed for new relationships of trust and partnership to emerge.
Politics and identity begin to matter less as we become more and more under the reign of the King who came down at Christmas.
Alexei Laushkin is the Founder of Kingdom Mission Society.