The internet is a wonderful thing, at least, it can be. How else would I know that the title of this post was originally uttered by French critic Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr? Well, I wouldn’t. Now that graduation has passed, my ordination has taken place, and I am now only a day or two away from preaching my first sermon at my new church I feel like it is time to start this up again. I am not sure what it will look like or how often I will blog but I know it is something that I have been missing.
So much has happened, both personally and intellectually, since the last time I blogged that I am not sure where I should even start. But that is how life is, it moves, it ebbs and flows, and the more it changes the more it seems to stay the same. There are times, though, when it isn’t just SSDD. They are moments that defy logic. Moments that redefine life as we know it. Perhaps the world events of the last few weeks point to the fact that this year is one of those moments. At least, it certainly seems that way for places like Iraq, Israel and Palestine, the Ukraine, and Ferguson, MO.
Martin Franzmann, one of my favorite authors, once said, “There are events so great that man dare not wrap them in his rawer breath, incidents so incisive in the history of God and man that the bare force of their having occurred blocks out rhetoric.” Time will tell whether the events of the last few days and weeks qualify for such a description. Even if they don’t, though, they certainly cause the church to wonder what her role is amidst such a world. Well, it is what it always has been, to be the hands and feet of the Crucified God. We suffer alongside our brothers and sisters. We don’t sneer or scoff or pretend their problems don’t matter. We do what the church was left here to do, love and serve our neighbor, no matter who or where they are, what they look like, or what creed they profess.
That is no mere idealism, it is the charge God has given his people…
“This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” – Isaiah 56:1
The law always accuses, but it also reminds us who have been made alive by the sweet word of the gospel that we still have work to do, not for ourselves or for our God, but for our neighbor, no matter who they may be.