You said to love
All I see is hate
Emotions swirling ‘round
On this sacred date
What must You think
When I choose to hate
When I turn from You
To pursue my fate
When I choose to hurt
Instead of heal
When I choose the fake
Instead of the real
When I choose to look
At myself instead
When I starve my Lord
To make sure I’m fed
I look beyond
To the crimson cross
And Your eyes still shine
With love spread across
On that cross so hard
In Your eyes the love
Yet I prefer the eagle
And pervert the dove
You said to love
All I see is hate
Lord give me your heart
On this sacred date
Copyright 2010 by Boyd Allen
Forty-seven years ago yesterday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most famous speeches in American history. I am ashamed to admit that--until tonight--I had never watched the speech in its entirety.
If you're like me and you've never seen it, or if you've watched it many times...take a few minutes and allow the words of an American prophet to move you.
Word, Dr. King. Word.
A great quote that I read this week...
"I know passions get enflamed and sometimes should around political issues. Let us remember that Jesus brought a zealot and a tax collector together and said, "Follow me." In our churches, He brings together democrats, republicans, green party members, libertarians, and independents and says the same thing, "Follow me."
Christ followers will always be politically diverse. Following Him alongside people who talk, think, and act differently than you is not optional. If you refuse to do so, then you refuse to pursue Christ. The moment at which you wish to see someone crash and burn because they think differently than you—you have stopped following Jesus. The moment at which hate begins to burn in your heart towards another person, for whom Jesus died, because they disagree with you on policy—you have stopped following Jesus. The moment you stop seeking justice, love, kindness, and a humble walk with God—you have stopped following Jesus. So, we repent when necessary and remember that policy and governance never change the human heart—the Gospel does. The breadth of Christʼs good news must fuel our passion and guide our actions in every sphere of life."
Now, if only I would let God help me LIVE this way. Then I'll be set.
So...since no one else will be blogging about this subject, I thought I'd step up and fill the gap.*
As I reflect on the passage of the historic healthcare reform bill, I wonder how America's Christians are reacting. Some thoughts...
To my brothers and sisters on the Left who are rejoicing at the passage of the healthcare reform bill, a gentle reminder: This bill does nothing to eliminate Christ's mandate for us to personally care for the poor. If history is any judge, the government will struggle to oversee the massive task they've just voted to put on their own plate. Bureaucracy, inefficiency, and corruption may well swallow up their good intentions. We Christians must stand in the gap that's left.
To my brothers and sisters on the Right who are lamenting the passage of this bill, may I gently suggest the possibility that we (I) have failed to live out Christ's directive to care for those less fortunate than us? Perhaps if we as the Church cared for the poor, marginalized, needy folks in the world as our founder did...then maybe, just maybe...Congress wouldn't have had to step up and do what we were capable of, but refused to do.
I recently read Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution (which I highly recommend) and I thought this excerpt was striking (and applicable to those on both ends of the political spectrum).
It is much more comfortable to depersonalize the poor so we don't feel responsible for the catastrophic human failure that results in someone sleeping on the street while people have spare bedrooms in their homes. We can volunteer in a social program or distribute excess food and clothing through organizations and never have to open up our homes, our beds, our dinner tables. When we get to heaven, we will be separated into those sheep and goats Jesus talks about in Matthew 25 based on how we cared for the least among us. I'm just not convinced that Jesus is going to say, "When I was hungry, you gave a check to the United Way and they fed me," or, "When I was naked, you donated clothes to the Salvation Army and they clothed me." Jesus is not seeking distant acts of charity. He seeks concrete acts of love: "you fed me...you visited me in prison...you welcomed me into your home...you clothed me."
My life has seldom lived up to Christ's words. May God have mercy on me and grant me strength to do better.
*That was sarcasm, just in case you didn't catch it.
It is good to be tired and wearied by the futile search after the true good, that we may stretch out our arms to the Redeemer. - Blaise Pascal
A week ago today--at the suggestion of a book I am reading--I set aside about an hour of time to spend in solitude. No one else, no people, no distractions, no agenda other than to be alone with God.
I cried. In a good way. To say that it was "good" would be an understatement. Not necessarily easy, but definitely good. I HIGHLY recommend it.
Often I spend so much of my time chasing after so many things that I wear myself out. Don't get me wrong, I think the things I spend my time doing are good, worthwhile things. It's just that I try so hard to get everything done, everyone taken care of, every situation resolved....that I forget the most important role that I can fill is just being God's kid and hanging out with him.
Last Saturday I got to hang out with my Abba.
The random thoughts of a passionate moderate who is incurably addicted to music, practical philosophy, and learning new things.