There is a old saying in the pastor circles, that the moment that you start to get to close to someone and what really makes them work, you are meddling. Most sermons, they teach and “preach” about God, but when you go to meddling, that is when it gets personal.
Disclaimer: I am going to meddle now.
Talking of apples and oranges, only gets us so far when we are talking about life and walking in God’s way. You see we have real false logics and scripts we have believed about life that cause ourselves and others harm. These false logic and scripts have to be addressed in real time, in real ways, because it really matters.
I believe we are in a fallout. That means people have experienced a level of pain and crisis that simply will not be forgotten about in a few weeks. The pain will go and on. And this causes people to be desperate and longing for the real things of this world. As followers of Jesus we do have invited in the realest of reals. There are eternal truths that can not be shaken and can not be taken from us.
This is where we start. This means that to move forward we have to sit aside our political affiliations, our personal bias, our preferences, our wants and desires. At the core of the call to follow Jesus is this:
“All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. 36 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? 37 What will people give in exchange for their lives?1
You see, Jesus call is one of all in. It is not holding onto our stuff and adding Jesus to what we already have. Following Jesus means that we go just as He did to the death of the cross (which is full surrender). We see this surrender in the these terms: Not my will, but your will be done Father.
We go where Jesus goes. That is what we are called do and where we are called to go. We need to start here. This is the way. This. Is. The. Way. And this is a must. This is not Jesus’ call for the elite that follow him, it is for the all.
We go where Jesus goes. We lose our lives.
I think this is important to remember as we enter into these conversations in the next few chapters, because I going to do my best to tell the story of what I have seen, not through political eyes, nor scientific eyes, and not even my own eyes.
I have heard it said many times, if there is a hole in the boat, we are all in trouble. It does not matter how it got there or who made it. We need to plug the whole and move on. In this case, we need to name the reality there is a few holes in the boat of Christianity in America. And that my friends will feel like I am meddling.
But our context must be named. It must be called out. So that the church can again, more fully walk in God’s path and reclaim its faith and place in the Kingdom.
1 Common English Bible. (2011). (Mk 8:34–37). Nashville, TN: Common English Bible.