For those of us of a certain vintage, the line in the title stirs memories of black-and-white reruns of a show from the 1950s. The hero would save the day, then ride off into the sunset without revealing his identity, thus prompting the episode-ending question "Who was that masked man?"
The show, of course, was the Lone Ranger. There is, perhaps, much we could discuss about that show, good and bad, all of which I acknowledge. But tonight, as a lead-in to this week's Brothers and Sisters, I just want to use that one line from the show. I'd like to use it to explore the Lenten season that Christians are in, and extend it to our community here. Yes, that's right -- we're going from the Lone Ranger to Jesus to Daily Kos.
Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos. We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
As noted above, this is the season of Lent for the Christian church, a time of confession, repentance, and reflection. Our pastor is working through the Passion narratives, doing a series on "The Why of the Cross." One of the themes he is exploring is that of revealing or revelation -- specifically, what does the cross reveal about Jesus and/or about God?
Today, he asked the question: When is Jesus revealing the most about himself and about God -- on the cross, or in the Resurrection? In the face of the triumphalism that is common across much of Christendom these days, our pastor came to the opposite conclusion: the God of Love is revealed in the cross.
I thought to myself, "I wonder how many people saw God in that." And of course, the answer is Not Many. Yet, it was that act of giving that showed us we worship a God of compassion, of love, even of pain -- who suffers with us, grieves with us, cries with us.
What does this have to do with either the Lone Ranger or with Daily Kos? Here's the link -- in the midst of the strife, and anger, and vitriol that seems to inhabit all public conversation these days, there are moments of calm, and caring, and even love. In the midst of our competitive, dog-eat-dog everyday lives, there are moments when our shared humanity flares up like a lit match. In the midst of the solitary trail that so many people walk, there are moments of a hand on the shoulder, a caring word, a partner on the way.
And sometimes, those moments are so unexpected, so out of the norm, and yet so important and caring and even life-changing, that we might be prompted to blurt out "Who was that masked man?" Who are you, that you would do this for me? What prompted you to do this? And the answer is, Love prompted me to do this.
One of the things I have always found amazing about Daily Kos is the moments of community that seem to pop up, spontaneously, unbidden. We drop what we are doing and rally around a fellow Kossack -- or sometimes it is someone with no ties to the community at all. We make a quilt, or we raise money, or we send letters and emails. Or, we just listen, and share love and grace in return. And when we do that, I believe we do it out of Love. And in that moment, we are being the God of Love to each other.
Brothers and Sisters is an intentional, weekly time for us to do that for this community. As we share what is on our hearts, I want to close with a quote I saw on Facebook earlier:
Some believe it is only GREAT POWER that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small every deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. -- GandalfThe floor is open. What is on your heart and mind tonight?