This is a different season for us all. We will be faced with a new normal for the coming weeks, perhaps months. And yet, even as we socially distance ourselves, as a people of faith, we have a witness of faith in Jesus Christ that teaches us to ensure we are no isolating ourselves from the needs of the community. In the feeding of the multitudes, Jesus teaches us that what we have to offer is sufficient, and that with our provisions, God will care for us all.
Why do people say politics and religion shouldn’t mix? Even our favorite Christmas hymns mix politics into the birth story of Christ. Proclaiming God’s gift of peace in Christ is politically motivating, and it calls us to a greater understanding of the joy we proclaim when we sing, “Rejoice, Rejoice, Immanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!”
The parables weren’t offered to make us feel good about our discipleship. They are intentionally provoking, and challenge us to a greater faithfulness. The Pearl of Great Price should not be understood as a self-centered congratulatory allegory, but a hard challenge to deeper discipleship.
Admittedly, our national climate is one that leaves much to be desired. We have lost all attempts at civility with one another. But God calls us to be better in community. Christ offers the necessary traits for such a change in the Sermon on the Mount.
To be faithful to our call as a church community, it takes being engaged disciples. You don’t have to be perfect, highly educated, wealthy, or beautiful – you just have to be willing to respond, knowing Christ goes with you.
Even Jesus had a holy discontent for the showy and fake religiosity of the leaders in the Jewish community. Being spiritual but not religious isn’t a rejection of Christ, it’s a faithful dissatisfaction with fake Christian leadership.
Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin is, in short, not only absent from the Biblical word, it’s antithetical to faithful living according to the teachings of Scripture, and it should be expunged from our vocabulary.
The worries of this world will never subside if we continue to allow the culture of the world to dominate our worldview. So let us seek to live simply free with a focus on God’s will – free of the worry of that which is to come.