an interesting question arose over coffee after gathered worship this morning. I had been talking about how we see each other - how we see, love, the 'other'.
A couple approached me and said, we don't use 'other'; we don't see us as 'us' and 'them'. And I have been part of conversations over the years around letting go of language, particularly in prayers, of naming others as 'them'.
But today's reflections and story were particularly about celebrating that we are different. By definition, 'you' are 'other' or 'differen't' from 'me'.
there is a difference, I think, between affirming and celebrating difference, and seeing our differences as divisions, boundaries, barriers to human relationships.
on reflection, I don't actually have a problem with using language of the 'other', for we are 'other', we are 'different.' And in the broader context of the way I speak about humanity and human relationships, I tend to observe that we are not whole without each other, which is what we talked about with the children this morning, and what Paul celebrates in his letter to the Corinthians with the image of a body that is one and has many - different - members.
I think it is important to take care with our language, but that also means taking care not to be overly sensitive, but to allow language to say what we truly want it to say.