September 30, 2017
So last weekend over 100 NFL players protested the president over his protest over their, in his view, dishonoring the flag and anthem. Those who were seen as dishonoring the flag and anthem were in turn protesting what they considered the dishonoring of African-Americans by police. In turn, I’m sure, the police considered themselves to be dishonored…. And the cycle goes on. Add to this cycle, the labeling, the identity politics, the generalities, the ratcheting up of tensions and anger, and you end up with the polarization of our society over the past year (but, in truth, much, much longer than that). And to think that many of us naively thought back in November 2008, that America voting for its first black president meant that we finally broke the racial divide.
So, what can be done? Specifically, what can I do? In truth, we cannot help but be drawn into society’s discussions of today. But as Christians, we have the responsibility to respond rather than react. And we have the responsibility to seek out God’s approach to any given situation rather than the world’s usual approach filled with anger, reactivity and violence.
In this weekend’s scriptures, God challenges us to be different than others in our society. Through Ezekiel, God reminds us that “all lives are God’s.” Through Paul, God reminds us to “do nothing from a selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” Paul also reminds us that the only one we bend a knee to is Jesus Christ as we confess him as Lord.
Perhaps it seems for many that this is the “the worst of times.” But as Christians we realize God is every present and will bring healing to the world. What we sometimes forget is that God’s healing begins with and works through us. Think about it. Pray about it. The time is now to begin the work of peacemaking!