Thoughts on Charlottesville
Notes from the pastor
Dear Friends in Christ,
In the wake of the activities like those that took place this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, we may tend to struggle for handles on the situation.  I don’t think I need to insult your intelligence by telling you that what took place was wrong.  You already know that.  Hate in any form is shameful; and, the violence that sometimes follows hate is also worthy of condemnation, whether that violence is physical or verbal.
Jesus said, “It’s not what goes into the mouth that contaminates a person in God’s sight.  It’s what comes out of the mouth that contaminates a person. … What goes out of the mouth comes from the heart.  And that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight.  Out of the heart come evil thoughts…and insults.” (Matthew 15)
The questions for us as Christian disciples are not: Is hate wrong?  Should violence in deed or word be condemned?  Should Christians stand against evil in whatever forms it presents itself?  We hopefully already know the answers to these questions.
The questions for us are:  What does a Kingdom response look like?  How do we, as Kingdom people, respond in ways that are different than the world would respond?
I would offer that name-calling and acts of violence are not the ways of the Kingdom.  Disciples are called to walk in the footsteps of the One who led the way down an alternate path.  He said troubling and challenging things like, “…love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you….  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  And he inspires us toward a different way with, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
I’m not going to presume to tell you how you should respond to acts such as were imposed on the city of Charlottesville.  Instead, I would encourage you to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Pray and listen.  Make room for this prayer and listening.  Talk with your families around the dinner table.  Have conversations in your small group settings.  Let the conversation take a turn toward the substantial over a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
The fullness of the Kingdom is not yet come, so we will continue to experience such things as hatred and violence in this world.  Knowing that, how can we who call ourselves by the name of Christ help to birth a bit of the Kingdom into the part of the world that we have been called to influence.  How can we respond in a way that points toward Christ?
If you would care to read the statement from our bishop, you can follow this link:
Grace and peace,
Pastor Ross
Last Published: August 15, 2017 2:54 PM
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