I really want to say so much about our shared political status right now. But I won’t. Not because I don’t have an opinion, not because it wouldn’t offend just about everybody I know (which I enjoy on some level) not out of fear – but out of a sense of responsibility.
I believe the gospel calls us to stand against actions we believe are immoral, unethical, evil. But I also believe, ultimately, it is all beneath the cross. In making a scape-goat, centering it on one individual, we are no better than the rock hurling ‘justified’ that Jesus confronted.
I believe the truly radical change is not any more possible through the system than it would be by a revolution of zealots – I hear the old Caedman’s Call song, “I can hear Jesus, saying put away your sword. I can see Peter, putting away his sword… Love has come, and it’s given me strength to carry on.”
I can not condone or support the justified hate or visions of vengeance that hits me in the core of my sarcastic, all too human mind. I can not support, and will not accept it in silence any more..
What brought me here?
This week, I was priviledged to witness boxes dropped off for strangers so they may know the people calling themselves followers of Christ (in many different denominations) chose to show love. This week, I was priviledged to tour a local free health clinic where people, regardless of the “isms” are cared for by volunteers – health, dental, nutrition… and I was fortunate enough to deliver food prepared by volunteers to those that may not have a hot, nutritional meal otherwise. And nobody cared about anyone’s ‘politics.’ And God saw that it was good.
I write this so it stays out of Sunday’s sermon. Few know my politics, I am simultaneously liberal & conservative (it mainly depends on who is looking) and my hope is that people see me as someone who struggles to walk what I fearlessly talk. Yes, I am a hypocrite. Yes, people judge me. People make assumptions – sometimes because I am bored and want them too, only to make a point later.
But that’s me – the me trying to become what I soon will be – as the Spirit reforms me. I’m not entirely self-centered, but I will not apologize for my confidence in who I am becoming or the faith that shapes it.
I have, at best, about 25 minutes a week of influence, probably only 12 to 17 minutes of authority and I choose not to waste that on earthly kings and suited jesters. I choose not to complain, nor condemn nor condone. I choose to challenge and to comfort with the Word of God. That is MY calling, not to be a pundit, but to be a pastor.
So this week, I make this promise, the same unspoken promise I’ve tried to keep since my first sermon more than 30 years ago.
No politics – only God’s promises.
My authority is borrowed, and I will not cheapen that intentionally.
No politics – only our professions.
My anger is deep, but I will not let it damage my ability to rely on the Spirit to share the Word of the Lord (Thanks be to God).
What got this started?
It would be too irresponsible to share.
But this isn’t.
I have the right to remain silent.
I have the responsibility to shine light into the darkness of the world… And for that, I give up my right.
You see, in the kingdom of heaven there will be no Green, no Libertarian, no Democrat, nor Republican. There will be no liberal nor conservative, nor rich, nor poor… No communist, nor fascist, no nationalist or apathetic. No patriot, no traitor… Because none of that adiaphra (sp?) matters.
If you believe otherwise, feel free to pick up your sword and follow… Um, I guess the earthly kings and jesters.
As for my house?
We will serve the Lord.
With all the Grace we can show and share.
Hypocritically on occasion,
but loved continually.
Love has come!
Love has come!
And it’s given me hope to carry on.
(I now return you to my usually vapid posts)