Sunday, January 1, 2017

Anticipating 2017

Too many people--Christians and non-Christians alike--are frightened right now. The news media, the political rhetoric of powerful bullies, the violence we hear about in constant streams through our screens...these suck us out of our trust in God and into a fearful, powerless state. Our eyesight is skewed and distorted by fear, as if we're looking out at a world trying to make sense of what's on the other side of clouded, cracked glass. Our confusion makes us more afraid.

Christians are called by God to be a people set apart by love. We trust God, we know He loves us, and we share that love in a hurting world. That's our job. Yet too many of us are hunkering down in fear and confusion, wondering where God is. We're being drawn in by faulty, distorted theology that teaches us to watch out for our tribe...those who believe the same way we do, look like us, think like us.

Fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate.

We're even closing the doors to the church and guarding the gates to keep out the marginalized, the poor, the hurting, the broken, those who are sinning differently from us. We've become the Pharisees, expecting a messiah who comes bearing a sword to beat down his enemies with bloodshed and domination until we special ones are all that's left.

God, help us. 

Three little words. A prayer. Already answered.

The psalmist wrote, "And I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13)

I believe this has been fulfilled and is being fulfilled every single day. Every. Single. Day. 

I reject the fear that the mongers are working in our world. God's work is ongoing and glorious in the here and now...and the most awesome news of all is that we can choose to be a part of it. He wants us to be a part of it. In fact, He's given each of us gifts to use in service to His kingdom for just this purpose. 

Are you using your gifts? Do you even know what they are? 

This year, Transforming Common Days will focus clearly and without distortion on what we can do for God's kingdom which is here and now, a positive response to fear and anger and hate. And it all starts with claiming the psalmist's words. Believe you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living...and you will. 

I do. And it's glorious. And there's so  much more we can do to spread the glory, grow the goodness, overcome oppression, and communicate the love.  

Will you claim these words with me? Will you believe?

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