“In any kind of conflict, from the fist fight to the labor dispute, from the family quarrel to the threat of international communism, the Christian sees the world and its wars from the viewpoint of the cross. ‘When we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of God’s Son’ (Romans 5:10). The Christian has no choice. If this was God’s pattern, and if the Lord’s strategy for dealing with his enemies was to love them and give himself for them, it must be ours as well.” – John Howard Yoder, Living the Disarmed Life
Where God is constantly calling us, where Jesus is always inviting us to go, is into the newness of God that keeps unfolding and Opening up before us. And so the question, always the question, without exception of any kind, the question always is: Where is God calling me now? Where is God calling us?
That’s a question we ask individually and one we ask collectively as a congregation, and the two are never ever in conflict.
A Lenten verse to reflect on in these days:
God changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him. (Daniel 2:21-22, NRSV)
Am I Jesus-centric enough? That’s a good question that has very little to do with theology, if at all. Unless it’s a theology of expanding love.
Our congregation has a long history of supporting refugee/immigrant resettlement. Not only have we received families from dozens of nations who were in turmoil, we also make a regular habit of supplying rice to Good Samaritan Ministries on the border of Texas and Mexico.
The risks associated with not receiving refugees with love and deep hospitality are far greater than the risks associated with receiving persons in great need. When we refuse welcome and hospitality we risk our very souls and the soul of a nation we all love and respect.
If you get too engrossed in what you are doing, you will not be able to notice what God is trying to accomplish, just as many did not see the working of God in the Savior. So, keep your eyes and ears Open, and as soon as you perceive something of God ‘s work, let it speak to you.
Someone asked a question about a pressing theological matter.
Suppose one had given up meat for Lent. Could one eat meat on Friday? Isn’t there a day when you can do the thing that you’re not doing?
An answer came that I liked.
Yes. There is. Lent is 40 days. They start with Easter based on a moon or something. Then they count back 40 days and that’s Ash Wednesday. But they don’t include the Sundays in that 40 Days. Why? Because theologically Sundays are a little Easter every week; they are Feast not Fast days. So you can do the thing you’re not doing for Lent on Sundays.
And the best part is that it’s totally guilt free. Easter, any Easter, ought to be guilt free. Easter by its very nature is guilt free; there’s just no room for it.