Happy New Year!

… have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, a humble mind …

1 Pet 3:8

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I read an article a day ago that pointed out that we had not had a “new artistic movement” in about three decades.

The author noted that it is often an artistic movement that gives clarity to the world around us and the changes it is undergoing.  In effect, the author pointed out that art often represents the shifts in the cultural current and lives of a people.

In making his point the author mentioned Impressionism, abstract expressionism, the Romantics, pop art and such. Likewise, he noted that such movements often express a “spiritual longing” that had no concerted social or cultural outlet.  He added that a movement’s attraction expressed a creed of “sacred simplicity,” that it encapsulated a message which placed a new emphasis on how to live and think, a statement that resonated favorably with those in the culture.

Now I do not know if the author is right or not, but this got me to thinking about a shift I have sensed might well be occurring.

What shift?

I see that the dialectic narrative of Marx that has so dominated Leftist politics is passing after a century of prominence.

The dialectic narrative pits neighbor against neighbor – class against class, race against race, gender against gender, belief against unbelief, the mundane against the divine, man against God.  It gives a dominant and destructive role to power and politics.  It perpetuates conflict among people. It is, by its very nature, both false and exhausting.

False?  Yes, we are not natural antagonists.  We are, by nature, social beings.  We seek by nature to be free and at peace, not at war with one another, nor to be regulated and controlled by a large, menacing central power that dictates our every more.  We favor liberty and community over constraint and hostility.

I see an end to the narrative of the political Left and I think it is a good thing.

This past Christmas time I found myself in Washington, D.C., and each morning necessity required that I arise early and go to a local cafe to get coffee and write my daily blog.

In the course of these ten days I sat among Hispanic, African-American, oriental men and women and each morning we shared warm and friendly conversation which contained substance and humor and which always ended with wishes of “Merry Christmas” and frequently these words: “God Bless, You.”

These beautiful and spontaneous exchanges were not the voice of division but of commonalty.

People wish to have friendship and cannot maintain constant, relentless conflict which strains the senses and the heart, and injures the soul.

Friends, we are all in one boat and the seas bring challenge enough.

We desire unity, community, fellowship, love of one another, brotherhood, peace, a tender heart, friendship, laughter, honest and intimate existence with others. In seeking these things, we can find them in everyday in every encounter with another.

In caring for others and nurturing friendship, we are an “artistic movement” that reflects a favorable shift away from conflict and toward love.

No more dialectic of division.  Fellowship, kindness, friendship.

Shalom.

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