My spirit has grown restless with the toxic air surrounding our current political dilemma. Presidential candidates’ opinions have literally overridden the importance of presidential character. In response, the political machine we have inherited just drives on - like there’s nothing we can do. And maybe we can’t, but this disturbs me more each day. I have almost entirely avoided this conversation, because I (often at great cost) am a peacemaker! I have always been one to prefer a middle ground over conflict. This may sound noble for a moment – but I’ve even struggled to be very public about my love for Jesus in arenas where it simply might be ‘misunderstood’. There are times when this might seem appropriate, but more often I’m aware that I’m not protecting anything or anyone but myself. May God grant us strength of character and enough self-LESS-ness to do what Micah 6:8 says God requires of us: “To do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before our God” (Micah 6:8). This is my prayer: “God of peace, keep us from confusing peace with submission in the face of injustice. Keep us from confusing patience with tolerance in the face of oppression. Grant us true discernment for the sake of your kingdom. Amen.” (From: Common Prayer, A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
During this season of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Good Friday minus Sundays) many of us give things up. Fasting certain foods, repenting of attitudes and sin that we long to be free from. And this is good. This is powerful. But what if we viewed these practices, these rhythms as what they truly are: an invitation. An invitation to go deeper. Deeper into the presence of God. Deeper into His heart. Deeper into His ways… mercy, compassion, love. What if our over-arching, all-consuming goal is be more like Jesus when we get to Easter? What would happen in our lives and the lives of those around us if we were more like Him? Let’s see. Let’s press into all that God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit is inviting us into. I believe my life and your life can be gloriously new in 40 days. Do you?