For followers of Christ, the moral response to the global refugee crisis has always been clear. We are called to welcome the stranger, to love our neighbors, to seek justice, to care for the orphan and widow. We are called to have compassion that extends beyond borders.
How long must women of African descent suffer the insulting, racist, body-shaming tactics that continue to suggest ugliness and unattractiveness? How long must women of African descent be labeled as angry and dismissed because we too can be passionate? How long must we be “white washed” in our obedience and compliance, silenced to the point of invisibility? How long?
Many have dismissed inclusive language as “politically correct.” However, it runs much deeper. It is an attempt to speak justly about humans, and it strives to offer a vision of God beyond gender.
To what extent will you go to save face and avoid humiliation or embarrassment to preserve your reputation? Living in an image-conscious society, many people spend an enormous amount of time, money and resources to paint beautiful self-portraits, particularly on the universal platform of social media.
“Yes, and” is the essential posture for improvisation. But what is the improvisatory offer on this day, in this situation, in this life? Then, again, what else is there but free and faithful improvisation? It is the hope-filled response fitting for a life of faithful discipleship. It is marked by honesty and freedom, responsibility and risk, listening and acting, prayer and community.
Being faithful to God requires political navigation. Literally, Roman coinage bore the image of Caesar. It belonged to the political leader and the institution that he led. Jesus’ sage lesson here exposes the truth about faithfulness to God. Sometimes, politics and religion must mix it up.
Learning may be the most important skill for church leaders. To make it as a leader, you must be able to learn from your experience. If you can’t learn or think, then it’s a waste of time. You’ll be unable to adapt to your environment, and you’ll be unsuccessful.
Ending racism will require that we truly adopt the concept of being our brothers’ keeper. It will require a transformational shift in how we serve others—shifting from serving some to serving all, especially people who are different from us.
As a white Christian woman, I do not have to worry about being asked about my citizenship. I do not have the same fear when police pull me over in my car. I do not worry about my child being taken from me. I do not worry about being harassed on my way to worship. I have privilege. And when I ignore it, I become part of the system of oppression.
With all that is happening in this country, one wonders if anyone is experiencing peace and love. If a lack of peace and love is the plague that hovers over America, what is the answer? Perhaps we can find it in Scripture.