Friends, what are we to do? Please read, it’s lengthy but worthwhile. Remember the One who is really in charge!
(adapted from letter of fellow pastoral colleague)
I pen this letter in a time of cultural turmoil. The people of our nation are angry and divided. More than 150 years ago, as the dark clouds of civil war began to gather on the horizon, Abraham Lincoln warned a nation of angry people that a house divided against itself cannot stand. This Biblical principle stands today.
The genius of our nation’s founding is proclaimed in its motto, “E Pluribus Unum”—“Out of Many, One.” Gathered on our shores are peoples of different origins, different trades, different creeds, different colors, different dreams. The social experiment called “The United States of America” was designed to offer all people the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. We don’t seem very happy these days. We have lost the sense of “oneness,” as we prefer to identify ourselves with the people who look like us, sound like us, think like us and agree with us. When we come across those that differ from our worldview, we shut them out, slam the door, and ostracize them. Our divide grows wider, deeper and more dangerous.
The intent of this letter is not to share with you my personal opinions and political views, but to express what Christians, are called to do as members of this society. Those of us who are Christians, who are in the world but not of the world, must first and foremost identify ourselves as followers of Jesus—disciples of the Savior. Recall these words from the Apostle Paul, “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” (3:20-21) We are alien residents here on earth; but we dare not shy away from having an impact or bearing fruit. We are dedicated to the principles of His Word and are
called to make a difference in this dark world. To this end we must:
We’ve become combative instead of compassionate. We’ve become judgmental instead of gentle. We’ve become hateful instead of helpful and shallow instead of sensitive. We confess the Christian faith, but then hurl slander and accusations with great ease and with no remorse. It is scary what gets us riled up and moves us to action; if only the Mission of God had this same impact to mobilize us. Do we still hear the words of Jesus? “Love God… Love your neighbor… Do unto others…”
I am exasperated by violence and disregard for person and property. I am saddened that we have chosen sides and drawn lines in the sand. I have made a pledge to limit the invasion of the 24 hour news cycle in my life and use my time and energy to help others. To tune into God’s voice, I must intentionally tune out the world’s noise. I am praying for my government officials—all of them. I pray for the Holy Spirit to give them the wisdom that comes by faith in Jesus. I’m praying for the ability to engage my brain before I engage my mouth. I’m praying for peace in my mind and for love in my heart. Will you join me? Time for us to be the salt and light difference makers Jesus calls us to be, to embrace the desire and the drive to live a life that reflects the love and light of Jesus. Let’s be the difference this world needs.
Church, let us all do better, be better, and pray harder.