The face of Jesus and Crisis
I found this image when I was doing a google search for a sermon. It struck me hard. It made me think about all that is wrong in the world. And what purpose it has in our life. Why is it there? And why does it continue to happen? Day after day, year after year. The vicious cycle of violence, hatred, abuse, and greed moves us further and further away from the potential greatness that we possess. Why? Heaven forbid we should do anything to change it, to stop it, or to learn from it.
As we look out into our world, in all its brokenness and darkness, more often than not we want to blame someone. And more often than not, we blame God. It's easier to make God a scapegoat than it is to make ourselves responsible. We say things like,
"If there's a life-giving, all loving God out there then why do bad things to good people?"
I have heard this from atheist as well as many devote Christians and Muslims and Jews. My response is simple:
"God could ask the same to you."
Why do we still allow bad things to happen? Do you really believe it's all on God's plan? I am not so sure that God has a master plan that includes people killing one another for religious or non-religious purposes. It's hard for me to imagine a universal creator leaning over a drafting table drawing up plans of people starving to death, drowning in floods, freezing to death in our neighborhoods, or being beaten to death by a relative. What would be the purpose? I can't buy it because all that stuff has zero purpose in fulfilling God's kingdom.
People are raped, murdered, beheaded, burned alive, thrown out on the streets, kicked out of school, put into prison, and so on because of human actions. If you believe in God, that blood is on your hands. If you don't believe in God, it's still on your hands. God draws up blueprints on how to love one another, how to care for people other than ourselves, how to do business fairly, and how to experience joy even in times of sorrow.
Our responsibility in this world cannot be shifted to God or any one else. It's my duty as well as your duty to stand up to injustice, to care for those around us, to love our neighbors as much as we love our family. Blessed are the meek, blessed are the peace makers, blessed are those who feed the hungry, clothe the poor, care for the sick, and visit the imprisoned, blessed are merciful...for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are those who see humanity in trouble and respond humanely, or those who see injustice happen and act justly. Welcome the stranger and you yourself will be welcomed.
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An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”