So how should we think about Charlottesville … and Barcelona …. and North Korea … and Washington D.C … and … and … and …
It’s full of conflict, pain, division, and anger!
But we are not OF that world. We march to the tune of a different realm. We live by the realities of another land.
We are citizens of our earthly nations and yet, our greater citizenship is in heaven (Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 1:4-12). We are given a mandate to be people of peace and of reconciliation. We are told (by Jesus) to love our enemies and forgive them if needed. We are ambassadors of the good news of the Kingdom of God and the rule of King Jesus over all nations.
Jesus maps out the difficulty of being in the world and not of the world, of having passports of two realms. He knows it is hard, so he prays for his disciples. Take a few minutes and read John 17:6-19 (it is powerful stuff!).
We are told (again by Jesus) that we are salt and light. The metaphors refer to a positive, redeeming, life-giving way of impacting the world around us (Matthew 5:13-16). We are to make a difference in the world, no matter how messy it gets!
But how do I live as a Christian in the world? How do WE live as communities of Christians in the world? What do I/we say? What do I/we do? How do we speak about these social and political issues? How do we act to do something redemptive about the messy, broken, evil things of our world? In particular, at every point in this paragraph substitute the United States for the world. How do we do all this in the United States?
I have two more questions that I must ask:
How do I address these things as a pastor?
How do we (as Living Word Community Church) address these matters?
If you didn’t read the passages I referred to already in this post, take a few minutes and do that right now. We will always look to the Bible to shape our faithful witness and presence in the world as the missional people of God, the body of Christ, and the fellowship of the Spirit.
I will come back to these questions in the days ahead.