Today's Lectionary Text
2 Timothy 1:12-14
and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.
Anybody else have the feeling that God is stretching you right now? The last few months have felt like wading through molasses and I'm pretty sure I've aged a few years.
Let's count it off. So far we've been in a global pandemic, a financial crisis, an unemployment crisis, and now we add peaceful demonstrations, rioters, and racism that many white Americans had thought was a thing of the past. It's only June.
My head hurts and my heart hurts. I see the deep division we have in this country, and in our communities. I only have to compare my Facebook timelines to those of other people in my family to understand how differently we see our country. We watch different news stations, we question facts and statistics that can be manipulated, and we are a nation in a state of unrest.
At heart I'm a peacekeeper. Usually I can see both sides of an argument. Not this. But I'm still afraid to rock the boat. I see people I think of as good Christian people engaging in whataboutism regarding white victims of black crime during this time and I want to respond but I don't want to engage in an argument that won't change anyone's mind and only make us more divided.
I'm angry about the arguments of "one bad apple" being applied to one group of people but not equally to another. Generations of system rooted racism have left some of us with the illusion of fairness and equality but recent events are pulling back the curtain to the dark reality that justice, healthcare, opportunity, safety and security are not available equally and definitely not fairly.
I'm ashamed of the part I've played as I think back of incidences where I was blissfully ignorant of actions that were passively or unintentionally racist. Now that I know better, I need to do better.
We sometimes hear in the church that the kingdom of heaven is not somewhere far away, it is here and it is now. Our God is surely tired of weeping over how we have been treating each other. He loves us as a father and knows we can do better, wants us to do better and I believe is nudging us (or shoving us) to be better.
We need to return or remember or remember that sound teaching that Paul is writing about in the verse above and hold fast to it.
I need to speak up, be heard and stand up for those who are vulnerable, those less powerful, my fellow citizens with less privilege. That's the kind of Christian Jesus wants me to be. I only hope that I am up to the task.
Communications administrative assistant
Prayer for Reflection
Oh Lord, you hear the cries of our world in pain. Show us how to bring your kingdom here today.
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