We need a more robust theology of a God who suffers with us—who was born on the margins and executed on the cross, who knows what it feels like to say “I can’t breathe”—as thousands of folks are saying throughout the streets of America. God is with us.
I continue to be challenged by the ongoing need for reconstruction, for the building of a society not based on the evils of systemic racism and environmental degradation; it’s big, overdue work. I feel helpless and lost, I am not sure how to help. It’s a lot, and I am discouraged and overwhelmed. Yet, I am singing.
These days, my emotions are not a reliable source. They are up and down and back and forth and all over the place, telling me stories and lies and leading me down all sorts of rabbit holes. I don’t need emotional authenticity—I need something solid. I need a touchstone to ground me. I don’t need high-energy, emotional worship; I need liturgy.
Calls to use sensible public health measures to stop the spread of COVID are not persecution, they are simply measures to protect our society and those around us. If we cast any infringement on our religious life as persecution, we do a disservice to the Gospel, and to those around us.
At noon on each day of the week prior to November 3rd—and each hour on the hour as Americans vote on Election Day—faith communities in all 50 states will ring bells from our houses of worship and on the sidewalks of our communities. These bells will toll for you, calling every American to march to the polls and protect voting rights.
Maybe with time things would have worked themselves out but I didn’t wait, I didn’t suffer through it. I bought the coffee and every morning I pressed the grounds down with my fears and filled an empty Wonder Woman mug with that hot drink.
Our reactions and feelings of loss toward having our weekly temple worship stripped away might reveal something of an idolatry within us. Have we become too dependent, too anchored, too confined to the temple walls and to the warm fuzzies we get from the familiarity with our siblings in the church?
God has a deeper understanding of us. God gets the nuances of adoption and understands our pain—all of it, even the parts we think we’ve kept totally hidden. Jesus, too, was an adoptee, after all. And God is near to the brokenhearted—adoptees included, because adoption isn’t possible without a trail of broken hearts.
The best thing that we've known to do is to truly take on that Jeremiah 29. How do we seek the peace and prosperity of those who don't have the option to leave? They are stuck here, and they are struggling to just meet those basic provisional needs for themselves.