Every week at our church, whoever preaches writes up a devotion for further study or reflection. Here is my last sermon and the devotional that goes with it.
ENCOUNTER: Read James 2:8-10
As our political discourse gets more and more dysfunctional, the chances for the poorest, weakest, and most marginalized have less and less a chance of protection. Think of how many issues have become politicized, and done so in the most toxic way. What is so sad is that most good-hearted people are in agreement that there needs to be change and that people need help. But the fact that the solutions so deeply divide us is not helpful.
This is where the church might be able to step in.
Unfortunately, in the past, the religious right has gotten too close to the Republican party giving away all of their moral authority to fight for the justice issues that mattered to them. In the same way, the religious left is currently giving all of their moral authority away by linking arms so closely with the Democratic Party as they fight for the justice issues that matter to them. And in the end, the weak and poor are not protected, and the church's moral authority gets destroyed.
What a hard lesson to learn, but an important one to learn. We are the church! We stand up for the poorest and weakest among us and fight for human dignity for all humans. We can advocate, yell, scream, and work towards legislation that will do this, and we should. The trick is doing this in a way that doesn't get us in bed with actual politicians. (I have no idea how to do this). But as the Christian world comes to its senses, maybe someone smarter than I will figure it out.
In the meantime, we as sisters and brothers in Christ must guard our hearts and our language. We can not let dehumanizing and demonizing language slip out of our mouths. We must have eyes to see and boldness to leverage our spheres of influence at work, school, in the home and in our communities to care for and advocate for the real human beings who have been marginalized. And the more we do that across the board, not just for the issues that matter to "our party," the greater voice and authority we will have.
If you want to follow an activist leader who has incredible integrity and passion as he works hard to advocate for the poorest and weakest among us, I recommend following Eugene Cho on Facebook and Twitter. https://www.facebook.com/eugenecho/
What are the issues that are closest to your heart? How has that impacted what "team" you have joined and fight for? How has that impacted the issues that you no longer consider because of the other team advocates for it? What will it cost you to give up the slippery slope argument and try to advocate and care for the poorest and weakest among us?
BE A BLESSING:
How can you leverage your sphere of influence this week to care for the poorest and weakest in your world? Think of your work, school, home, neighborhood, and community? How can you affirm their dignity and worth as people made in the image of God?
Who can you get to join you in this effort? Who is that person that can give you strength and sharpen your thinking and actions as you lean into this?