Why do we value multi-tasking so much? Why is American individualism defined by busyness? Perhaps we should slow down and acknowledge God’s call, not for our own exceptionalism, but for a unified global well-being.
Listening is redemptive; it has the power to change lives and communities. If we’re going to see positive change in the world – if we’re going to see positive change in our own community – we have to start listening.
In recent weeks, if it wasn’t already known, it has become quite clear, we are an ungrateful people. We need a reset to rethink our relationships, our expectations, and our place in the community. We need, like the healed Samaritan Leper, to be a bit more grateful for the life – the new life – we are offered in Jesus Christ.
Our work as the Church of South Washington is to lay claim to the promise of God in Jesus Christ, that we are not fully capable of being the Body of Christ, so long as any member of our God’s created is incapable of being who God has made them to be. May the Holy Spirit provoke us to action, that we may be agents of God’s love in this world.
God has blessed this world with more than we would ever need. And yet, so many still go without. As Christ was our example, our call is not to offer temporary relief that retains one’s oppression, but to offering freeing love that gives new life.
As we consider what it means to be a Community Catalyst, what does that look like in the world today where the church is not the withholder of power, but still proclaims God’s power? How does the church not be the gatekeeper of grace, but still proclaims our freedom from sin and death, made possible by grace? How does the church not require acclimation, but still proclaims Christ as the truth and the way? How does the church actively work as Christ did, to free the oppressed, to heal the sick, to give life to the dying, while not claiming glory or attention for ourselves, but giving thanks to God in heaven above?
The reason the American Dream is such a farce, is that America started with a vision that not all people were created equal – regardless what the Constitution says. But as the church, as God’s people, we are called to proclaim God’s love for all people, and that means speaking up for and sharing God’s love with those who are treated as outcasts.
The Spirit isn’t sent to make us comfortable. The Spirit isn’t sent to pat us on the back for the work that we’ve already done. The Spirit is sent that we might break down any barrier, any power, any divide that separates any person from true life and mutual love. This work starts with you. This work starts with me. It starts with our own heavy lifting to understand why the world is the way it is today. It starts with our naming our own complacency with the unequal society that we live in.
God’s desire for the world is not that a few succeed, while the many suffer. God’s desire is for us all to thrive as one body, as one people, as one creation who live and love in a peaceable union. This was not the world before COVID-19, and it is not the world today. So yes, we have work to do, essential work to do, and it does not take our gathering in this building to do that work.
It may be Easter in exile, but we are not left on our own to fend for ourselves. We are empowered by the risen Christ to claim that new life, eternal love, and God’s glory are designed for all people. This means not only feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and offering our thoughts and prayers to those who are harmed by the sin of racism; it also means doing the hard work of leading systemic change that keeps people hungry, keeps people homeless, and inequitably causes harm to communities of color.