When the church has been stolen by the religious right it is no longer the place of love that Jesus created. If you feel stolen is too strong a word, I will settle for co-opted.
Many who Jesus died for, and loves the most, are being mocked, excluded, vilified, and intentionally made to feel unwanted and unwelcome. This has to break God’s heart.
When the least of these are not welcome, Jesus is being excluded as well. When we close our doors to them, we close our door to God.
The gulf between the poor (the marginalized, the hungry, the stranger, the immigrant, those who are different than us in any way) and us is actually the gulf between us and God. It’s time to help Jesus get His church back. It’s supposed to be a place of love and acceptance, not a place of hate.
When I think of #BLOTUS, his family and cronies, this quote immediately comes to mind. Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such unmitigated intolerance, lying and corruption focused in the hands of so few and accepted by so many.
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) has just announced that there are over 65,000,000 refugees that have fled their homeland. That’s the highest number in history. Over 12,000,000 of these refugees are from one country, Syria.
At issue is not only their future, but the future of the world. How this part of our human family is received, how they are treated, and how they are accepted will determine not only what will ultimately happen to them, but exactly who we are and the values we truly espouse.
I have watched families fleeing their burning homes while dodging sniper fire. I have had the privilege to visit dozens of refugee camps and camps for the internally displaced, and have seen firsthand the fear, the anguish and the heartbreak of those driven from their homes.
In the end, it boils down to opening our arms to others in need, even as we would hope arms would be opened to our families if in the same tragic circumstances. We cannot go too far wrong just hewing as closely as possible to the Golden Rule.
There are times to be tolerant. And there are times to be rigorous in the defense the morally accepted standards of civilized behavior. Allowing the #BLOTUS to get away with his lying, nepotism and scoffing at the law is putting us on the wrong path. We are living in a dangerous time for democracy as we know it.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
The Gospel Reading for this coming Sunday is the ninth chapter of John. It tells the story of religious leaders who refused to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus even after it was proven that Jesus had healed a man born blind. One reason the religious leaders refused to believe was that the man was healed on the Sabbath, which broke the Jewish law. But in the end, they just refused to believe what they could see with their own eyes.
Far to many of us are fooling ourselves. We can see the truth of this administration, yet we choose not to believe what we know is true. Shame on us. Our disbelief does not change the facts. It does, however, keep us from enacting the change that needs to happen.
The only constant in life is change. We’ve all heard that, but few of us have internalized it to the point where change is no longer threatening.
Embracing change rather than fearing it is the first step to understanding that our life is meant to be an adventure. Tolstoy has it absolutely correct. We need to live on the edge, always looking forward to the next opportunity to see and experience what is on the other side.
As long as we live we will be immersed in change. And that’s o.k. That’s as it should be. Accept it.
As Tolstoy reminds us, “As long as there is life, there is happiness.” And that is the one thing that doesn’t change
Each of us have the ability to help create a better world for all of us. We do not have to accept the values we do not believe are right, and that do not reflect who we are. We have the power to change the world.
We have the power to create a world where love, compassion and caring becomes the norm. I, for one, will not give in to those around me spewing hatred, fear, bigotry and racism. I will continue to fight for a world where human rights for all are accepted and promoted.