Our world seems to have gone off the rails. A deadly virus, political tensions, and lack of civil conversation has changed us all, and the events of this week should not have surprised anyone. So, what do we do now? How do we move forward from here? In particular, what is the responsibility of those who consider themselves followers of Jesus?
I know it’s important as a minister of the gospel to accept, welcome, and engage with any and all people – whether I agree with them or not. However, does accepting, welcoming, and engaging with all people require that I accept, welcome, or engage with every idea or belief they have? As someone who seeks to bring the Kingdom of God to this world – a Kingdom of love, equality, justice, and mercy – isn’t it my responsibility to speak out when these things are in direct opposition to the gospel of Jesus?
I believe it is. Though the politics of this week have caused me to engage publicly, it is not about politics that I write. It is about being human – as God intended, not as the world has distorted us. God’s intention for humanity was for good – for cultivating a beautiful world, sharing relationships of equality, honoring a holy God in word and deed. The world, however, has convinced us it is about individuals, seeking our own glory and power, and stepping on anyone or anything that gets in our way.
Some will say this is merely a “sign of the times” and distance themselves from any responsibility, citing a great and glorious future in heaven. To me, this is the ultimate example of selfishness. From the beginning of creation, God has expected one thing from humanity – to share God’s story of love, beauty, and grace. I don’t recall anything in Scripture suggesting God’s people sit tight, ignore what’s happening around them, and just pray for their own translation to glory.
Do I believe God is in control? I most certainly do. However, I also believe God calls on those who wish to bring honor to God’s name to be unexpectedly kind, to seek the justice of others, and to be able to discern the voices that they follow. It’s time for me to take a serious look at myself and ask how well I have done in this pursuit. I’d like to invite others to do the same.
*Photo by Tyler Merbler