from our pastor
...above all, may we reflect the love and grace of Christ in all our responses.
Yesterday the world was shocked at the violent events that occurred in the US Capital. I have read responses from people on both sides of the political aisle. Some condemned this violence outright that did not condemn the violence that occurred earlier this year. Some who condemned that violence now defended the violence happening in our capital. Clearly, we are a nation divided along ideological lines and perspectives.
Yet the church of Jesus Christ is to be unified in the face of the nation’s divisions and the world’s politics. Why? Because the eternal destiny of humanity restored to God’s image rises far above the divisions and issues of this world. Followers of Christ are not to be defined by these divisions. Our God lived among us as a man to tear down the walls of division. In Christ we are not primarily followers of a political party or ideology, male or female, rich or poor, black or white, but one in desiring and pursuing God’s best for this world.
David, in Psalms 11, wrote:
4 The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven. His eyes watch; his eyes examine all people. 5 The Lord approves of the godly, but he hates the wicked and those who love to do violence.
The Old Testament prophet Daniel lived in a culture hostile to his beliefs. The people Daniel served tried to put an end to his life because of his faith. Peter, in the New Testament, told the authorities that when it came to it, he would follow God’s Law over man’s law, even though it meant prison and loss of freedom. A culture determined to distract and quiet the voice and freedom of God’s people is not new.
As God’s people in this culture, we first must look deeply at ourselves to make sure we reject injustice, violence, and lawlessness. We must then appeal to God for peace, for appropriate responses against all wrong-doing, and for wisdom for both those in government and ourselves. Finally, we must be careful to be consistent in our stance against the ungodly, even when the ungodly are those with whom we would normally identify.
May we be outspoken in our quest for justice and peace. May we always choose God’s ways over man’s. And above all, may we reflect the love and grace of Christ in all our responses.