I admit I’m in a funk. Have found myself swirling in a strange place. The vibes, well beyond breathing, are unsettling. I know I’m not a stranger in this. And yet, what does it all mean in my very own Sitz im Leben? [Personal situation]
Life, I still see, is more than a vote in a presidential election. It’s more than shrieking against the night. But. Ah, that conjunctive halt. What is it? In a point, what about my life? What about yours? These days. And the tomorrows which will dawn?
I was blessed to preach recently. Exploring what life can be beyond anything that impacts us with devastation, or quite frankly in jubilant victorious ecstasy. The voice of my heart said we MUST remain in covenant with God…that is, God promises to be with us no matter what. We MUST keep the same promise to God. A covenant is kept when EACH of us gives our fullest for the good of the relationship.
More. Wherever we can we NEED to provide sanctuary to others, to be a safe place for them. For EACH person is gifted by God…that’s sacred, that’s truth. And as Lucy McCorkle, one of the lights in my life offered continuously, “God is not a junk maker.” One of my former congregations posted on their road sign, “We are sanctuary for you.” That is so much more than political referencing. That’s referencing for each of us no matter what, as we walk the human landscape and the darkness breaks the light into a million pieces.
More. This is personal. Jesus Christ is not the only path to God. I am weary in hearing those who degrade Hebrews or Muslims. Such arrogance! Yes, Jesus Christ is my path and I stand with Reinhold Niebuhr who declared, “Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of the Love of God.” But, make no mistake, supreme is not singular.
I still believe…and hopefully will never waver from same…God believes in us. I do smile when I hear people announce, “God bless America.” Yes. But what about this? Does America bless God? Not if we see ourselves as better than anyone else. Not if we judge racially. Or politically. Or theologically.
This morning, and often he’s beyond helpfulness personally, Tom Ehrich shared what is a planted seed in me. It’s apt. For today. And for me. Hopefully it won’t glance off you. Words of wisdom not chortles of judgment:
“It’s up to people of faith to walk with pilgrims toward light and hope, no matter how that road diverges from what the believer knows and values. We aren’t meant to be jealous keepers of a single flame or the arbiter of what constitutes a worthy walk. We are called to be companions, fellow-pilgrims, encouraging the lost and broken to keep moving, reminding the prideful and greedy to share, feeding those who are hungry, lifting up those who are falling. We don’t stand on the sidelines and critique the passing parade. We are in the procession ourselves.
God’s people will strain toward God, because that is how we are made. Some quests are unworthy, but it is God who will reveal their shallowness. We aren’t judges. We are helpers along the way.”