This sign in front of the Canadian Memorial Centre for Peace provides a powerful message to all of us this Sunday morning, especially those of us who claim to worship the living Christ. Those living in faithfulness to the Gospel understand that love builds longer tables and even bridges. Only fear and hatred builds walls.
Something t.he Church should be doing… basic morality calls for each of us to stand up on behalf of the poor, hungry, outcast, marginalized and mistreated. The protesting NFL players are using their highly visible platform to demonstrate to all the rest of us that we have no excuse not to get involved in ending injustice.
I have watched the video and have listened to the chaplain’s prayer. It is a theologically-solid prayer, much like I have prayed on many occasions. It was not partisan. It just lifted up the Representatives’ responsibility on behalf of the least of these among us. But, that was far too threatening for that august body.
Paul Ryan fired the chaplain for reflecting the light of Christ in the midst of darkness. Shining the light of Christ’s love in a den of thieves causes them to flee every time.
Standing up for the poor and hungry, especially to the wealthy and powerful elite, is a good way to shorten your career path. It’s also, however, how you stay on the highway to holiness.
Shame on Paul Ryan, and shame on all those in the U.S. House of Representatives who have not stood up against this action.
Mid-terms are coming.
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.
We don’t feed people to change their point of view. We don’t feed people to proselytize them. We don’t feed people “so they can be saved.” Feeding people is not a strategy for evangelism.
We feed people because they are hungry. We feed people because we follow the example of our Lord. We feed people to demonstrate God’s love to a hurting world.
We feed people because we want to be faithful disciples. We do not feed the hungry to get another notch on our Bibles.