It has been a crazy week in politics. And you were probably hoping for, or even expecting, an article here that would finally be a break from all the political talk.
I have heard in many circles, from many sources, an old refrain, “Pastor, you should stay out of politics.”
Or, “Pastor, your sermons/newsletter/Facebook posts/etc. are too political. We just need to hear about God and Jesus, not politics.”
And, particularly in seasons when national politics are stressed, many pastors worry about not endangering their congregation’s tax-exempt status with politically charged statements.
But, here’s a problem:
The Gospel is political.
Throughout our Holy scriptures, God is shown interrupting everyone’s daily living to direct, guide, reorient, encourage, and even punish our political systems, the ways humanity chooses to relate to and govern one another. God does this because God loved us ALL into being and loves each and ALL of us as beautiful creations. God cares how we treat one another. And it is clear throughout all of the scriptures that God particularly cares how those in power treat those who are vulnerable.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ wasn’t a feel good, personal devotional experience for the early disciples. It was a way of protest. It was a way of living each and every day oriented toward caring for others and self in recognition of the divine experience of being human. It was a disruptive and dangerous political, as well as personal, choice to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
It still is.
Notice the words I use to describe Christian life are action verbs: care, love, follow. They are not feelings. They are animated movements, inspired and motivated by faith that is alive in beautiful bodies and souls that are members of the Body of Christ.
Do something today to BE the Church.
Make a phone call.
Write an email.
Show up at a rally.
Send in a donation.
And do it in the name of, but more importantly, on behalf of the most vulnerable of our communities. That is what God continues to call us all to do. In personal, public, and even political ways.
My faith tells me that Black Lives Matter, because God made those beautiful bodies and souls and when they are wounded, I am wounded.
My faith tells me that LGBTQ friends and family deserve protection, love, and equal rights because God made those beautiful bodies and souls and when they are wounded, I am wounded.
My faith tells me that men, women, and children born on other coasts, speaking different languages, and wearing different clothing from me deserve safety, shelter, and peace because God made those beautiful bodies and souls and when they are wounded, I am wounded.
My faith tells me that women and girls have the same right and responsibility to care for their bodies and health as men and boys because God made those beautiful bodies and souls and when they are wounded, I am wounded.
My faith tells me that I must act, not just feel, in order to be a follower of Jesus Christ, so I will act, demanding the politics of the land that I live in offer care and safety to all of God’s Creation. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I can do no less.
Blessings for the Journey,
Brigit Stevens, Associate Conference Minister