Tens of thousands are homeless, stranded, hungry, or displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Those that survive in South Texas and Louisiana face months and years of rebuilding. They’ve escaped with their lives, but not much else. Life will forever, till their dying day be talked about as “before the flood” and “after the flood.”
Meanwhile North Korea is making sure it’s ready to kill as many people as it possibly can. Because as long as they have the power to do it, Kim Jong Un can rule his Kingdom with impunity. In response, the president of the United States uses his mouth with, what he hopes, is impunity. Let’s not get started on that #hotmess.
Don’t forget that we are in the midst of a national identity crisis where competing visions of race, free speech, history, political affiliations, and policing are all at war with each other. In that whole discussion, the one consistent thing on the line, is the future of our society, and of course people’s actual lives, not to mention the quality (or equality) of their life.
There was a drive by shooting on my street the other night… Just a few houses down.
Excuse the false equivalency of that last one, I’m not trying to say this is all the same stuff. I’m trying to say that tensions are high, stakes are high, waters are high, pain and suffering are high. We all feel it, and we should. If you don’t, then check your heartbeat, stop being insulated, and start loving your neighbor because the heart of the Gospel is caring for your neighbor. Can you feel the pain of this world? Groaning, aching, crying out for help?
Then there’s Jesus in Mathew 24 and Mark 13:
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.”
This is part of a longer discussion Jesus is having with his disciples. A discussion about being ready for the road and work ahead. He’s preparing them for the heavy lifting that is to come. I’m so thankful that Jesus didn’t sugar coat it:
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death,” Mathew 26:9
Friends, the mission of God in the world is indeed about a new birth. One day God will heal this world, it will be reborn and our job is to be a down payment of that healing. We, the people of God, are meant to be a sure sign that healing is on its way.
But it’s a long, hard, ugly road ahead. There are more wars and rumors of wars ahead.
Put your hand to the plow.
Let’s do this thing together.
The world is desperate for the healing of our God. Grab a friend, lift your head to the horizon, fix your eyes on what is good, help someone, invite them to your table, show them joy and laughter, be peace in conflict, help generously, love extravagantly, be unified, do not fear, do not be alarmed, do not waver.
For those of us who are Mission Partners at The Gallery, let this be our open letter:
There will always be a place for you at our table. We believe in you, we believe you are good, we believe that healing is on the horizon. We believe we are called to bearers of that healing. You’ll be able to find us here, any time, holding fast to that good vision of the world. But don’t worry, you won’t have to come looking for us, we’ll come looking for you.
Grace and peace be with you today, wherever you are, however high the stakes, the tension, or the water.