After the fallout: Finding God’s way and reclaiming your faith
For those that are interested. One of the things I am participating in this Lent is doing some writing - putting together a new book. I would like to invite you to read along as I write. I am not going to do a lot of editing to the posts, they will be rough edits at best. As I wrote this morning I could not escape the feeling that some might need this now, not 3 months from now when I polish it up and hopefully do some self publishing... so here it is. You can subscribe to the blog to get notifications when I post each day. You can find a new post probably by noon each day - at least I am shooting for that. I am only making one post here on Facebook to give people the heads up and the invite. Holler at me if you have anything to add or will help better shape what I am trying to say. Blessings to you all.
Before 2016, I did not really pay attention to the politics. Things came and things went, I followed the big stories, but I never got into the trenches of the wide world of politics. In 2016, I had a few different run ins - run-ins is not the best world, but better said - I naively stumbled into some weird conversations with church-goers, that opened my eyes. I remember these encounters and I honestly wondered, “Am I missing something?” In all of these conversations, a common denominator was involved: If you think and vote like me, we are good. If you do not, then you are a moron. Moron is the word I use here to describe all the words that are not so nice to describe progressive and liberals - in these conversations, some of those not so nice words were used!
And now you are wondering, if Kevin is a progressive, why am I reading this book? Well, I am not a progressive, yet I don’t fall into the conservative box really well either. I didn’t know what party I was even declared until I went to vote in 2016. I just have not cared about party affiliation my entire life. I still do not. I care about leadership, I care about the country, and I believe that the Goodness of God i.e. His Kingdom embodied in this world is the only real hope and security there is.
You see, this book is not about politics. Yet, the last 4 years, 8 years, 12 maybe 20 plus years there has been an slow implosion of sorts happening. Think of it like a volcano that has been in active, brewing, churning and building pressure. 2020 was the year it all released. And it was ugly. As I write this today - February 17th, 2021 (Ash Wednesday) the dust is still settling on the violent eruption of 2020. We still feeling the impact of Covid, of the economic downturn, of unrest due to racial injustice, and the election of 2020 which was and continues to be circus that I hope we never see again.
This eruption has caused ash particles to be distributed over a wide range. When Mount Saint Helens erupted in 1980, the ash fallout lasted almost 2 weeks and ash was found 2000 miles away. (There is a a lot more information to be gleaned from this as I edit)
For those that follow Jesus, we are living in a time where the ash is settling, and when everything settles, we are going to have to find our way after the fallout. We are a living in a culture as a whole that is deeply divided. I mean pick up a few newspapers, check out a few news sources and scroll through your social media. I am not for sure what I can do to speak to the whole of society. . But that is ok, because I am not writing to society as a whole.
Instead, I write as a follower of Jesus to those that want to follow Jesus above all things. Your life before the eruption and the fallout was different. Where we are now, is not where we were. What has changed? In my neck of the woods, a person’s faith is judged by their political affiliation. And now we are finding, that many outside the faith are judging our faith based on our political stances. This is where the ash gets thick and the fallout work it messy.
And in the midst of this mess, the church - aka God’s people are called to do some heart work:
Listen to the prophet Joel:
12 “Yet even now,” says the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and repents of evil.1 (Joel 2:12-14, CEB)
After the fallout - the time we are living in right now - it is time to return to the Lord. It is time to return with all of our hearts. It is time to examine ourselves and our actions, and say,
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!2 (Psalm 139:23,24, CEB)
This is the short answer to what we do after the fallout. As the dust is settling, how does the church, God’s people emerge as a light for world that says,
“There is a way that is good, whole and right. There is a way that has life and life to the full. This is the way and you can walk in it.”
You see, I know this reality as I type this: I am not where I want to be. I have things that God needs to show me and reveal to me about how I walk and move and be in this world. And if I am going to be his ambassador in this world, a witness that bears true testimony, then I have to be willing to let my life be examined.
This books will be both confessional and invitational. It will be a journey of finding God’s path and reclaiming your faith. I know the work of digging out of the fallout will not be easy work, but I am not for sure there is any other option if we want to be people of hope - people that know hope, live in hope and bear hope to others.
Our journey into hope begins with God and finding His path.
1 The Revised Standard Version. (1971). (Joe 2:12–13). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
2 The Revised Standard Version. (1971). (Ps 139:23–24). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.