January 10, 2021
Dear WC Friends,
Sunday evening greetings. I hope your day has been a good one. I continue to struggle finding words to articulate the feelings of this past week. As we have watched and listened to reports of what happened in Washington, I sense a deep sorrow in my soul.
How have we, as leaders and citizens in our communities and country, sown seeds of distrust and division among each other?
The discourse and rhetoric from our political leaders in the Oval Office and Congress is damaging to the heart of our Union. Whether it is through the spoken word or through social media, such demeaning talk leads to violence. And violence in any form is immoral and unjustifiable.
I am convinced that our deepest issue is not political. It’s spiritual. I am reminded of a verse from 1 John 4:20:
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,' but hates his brother, he is a liar.
For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
That word for hate in the Greek means to detest, to love less, to esteem less. The things that divide us are never as important as what unites us. We are not first of all Republicans or Democrats, progressives or conservatives. We are precious human beings, made in the image of God, redeemed by his blood and sustained by his Spirit. We are also sinners, in need of forgiveness and new life.
Just as God through Christ has reconciled us to Himself, God has called us to this ministry of reconciliation. Even when we consider someone an enemy, Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. As disciples of Christ, this is not an ideal to strive for. It’s a lifestyle to live out.
We can’t necessarily control the actions of others, but we can model the values of Jesus in relationship to others. This too, is infectious!
I pray that the recent troubling events will not simply be a breakdown, but a breakthrough! On Sunday, January 17 in worship, we will have the opportunity to turn from our sin and renew our baptismal vows. I can’t think of a more important thing to do, nor a more important time to do it!
I remember a life-verse from 2 Chronicles 7: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Forgive us, O God. We need your healing! And let it begin with me.
With every blessing,