One of my intentions for this new year is to make time to write regularly again. The workload of seminary remains an ever-present factor, but I lost a piece of myself in not publishing regularly. I allowed negative self-talk to get to me. Why should I write? I’m nobody special. Who cares what I have to say? No one. Does any of this really matter? Probably not.
Well that’s dumb.
I want to write, so I’m going to write. It’s genuinely that simple.
Kate says: time.
I posted this on Facebook earlier today:
Last night I did my best to provide space for my students to process the insurrection at the Capitol while pointing them to the hope and truth found in Christ. Just before we began to pray, one of them said, “You know, it’s pretty bad when the adults behave worse than kids.” Let that slap you as it did me. We must be and do better.
Some of you reading this believe that the election was rigged, that it was stolen from you. I can understand the kind of frustration that you must feel. I recognize our shared humanity, and your very great worth as a person who bears the imago dei. I believe that you were placed in this context, at this time, for a reason. There is work for you to do that the Lord designed for you long before you took your first breath.
Imagine me and you, sitting across the table from each other, warm beverages in our hands.
It is time to let go of the idea that this president is the savior of the nation. He is not.
It is time to let go of the idea that there is a vast conspiracy to disenfranchise you. If that were true, then your votes for other candidates with the same letter behind their name would have been rendered invalid. Think about it. Why would anyone cheat, but only just enough to eject one person from power?
It is time to let go of the idea that other people, your neighbors, are enemies. They are not.
It is time to let go of the idea that those who stormed the Capitol yesterday are heroes, in any way.
You and I can disagree on political philosophy, theology, dogs vs. cats, and Pepsi vs. Coke for the rest of our lives. What we cannot do is cling to cognitive bias, conspiracy theories, and, frankly, being sore losers. These things result in the kind of division that leads directly to violence. This is not right. This is not acceptable. This is not the way of Christ.
You don’t have to like the president-elect. I don’t like the current president. You don’t have to agree with the party that’s coming into power. I never fully agree with any political party. That’s fine. That’s okay.
What you can’t do, and what I can’t do, is drag the name of God through ever-increasing piles of unholy excrement in an attempt to hold onto temporal power.
This world is not our home. We are sojourners, pilgrims, strangers. We are supposed to be different.
And I know some of you are convinced that your right to worship God is about to be taken from you. You know what you can do regardless of what political party is in power and what laws are passed? Worship God. Nobody can actually take your faith from you. Our brothers and sisters around the world who don’t occupy privileged cultural positions are a testament to this reality.
Don’t buy into the emotionally manipulative rhetoric.
Look to Jesus.
Would Jesus fall down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theory? Would Jesus storm any capitol building? Would Jesus bring bombs to a protest? Would Jesus spend His free time calling people names? Would Jesus grab a gun and try to overthrow a government?
Look to Jesus.