Monday, January 26, 2015
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
-1 Peter 2:4-5
Not too long ago Pastor Mike Slaughter wrote a blog post in regard to the President's State of the Union address. If you happened to have watched the address you might have noticed the palpable tension and divisions within the highest levels of our government. What a sad display. I say sad because we consider ourselves a Christian Nation-yet what we see play out in the rhetoric of our leaders in Washington and often between family and neighbors are words of blame that further divide.
Too often we forget that as a Christian Nation, built on Christian principles, that Christ is our foundation and that we are first and foremost Christians. Which means our first filter should be one of grace and forgiveness-not of judgment, blame, and condemnation. Years ago people used to wear bracelets that simply had the letters: WWJD? The idea was to remind the person wearing it that they were to consider their identity in Christ before their identity in the world-regardless of education, wealth, or color.
Traditionally, "church" comes the Greek word ekklesia, but a more accurate translation would be "the called out ones"-that we are called to live differently than the rest of the world, as children of hope, love, and light. If we have been set a part from the world to be the hands and feet of Christ then our words and actions should reveal Christ within us. When Simeon held Jesus in the temple he told Mary that the deepest thoughts of many will be revealed (Luke 2:25-35). Simeon was saying that there will be many who claim to be followers of God and that because of Jesus the truth will be revealed-the hearts of many will be made known.
Today the hearts of many are made known by the words they say and the things they do in the name of the one who has set them a part in the world. We are called to do great things and as a Christian Nation, as one body of Christ with many parts (diverse), united in one spirit, one hope, one love, and one mission. May we move beyond words of division and begin to heal the world with words of love, compassion, and affirmation. May we focus on what unifies us instead of what divides us and may we come to see that our identity isn't found in the world, but in Christ.
May it be so for you and for me. AMEN!