Trust me, God seems to be telling[us]. Out of my generosity and love, I have given you life. Now I need you to guard, provide and house the stranger, aliens, and other vulnerable people in your midst. I need you to give your life away.
Stephanie Spellers, The Church Cracked Open
For all of our talk about faith, most of us don’t trust Sacred very much.
We talk about “no fear” and strut our faith by doing foolish things like
refusing to wear masks, and gathering how and when we shouldn’t.
But we carry guns to McDonalds and the grocery store.
We talk about how much God loves us, but then we act like the young child who isn’t sure their parents have enough love for them and that new squalling addition to the clan.
We talk about generosity, but then hug our resources to ourselves.
We talk about loving the enemy, but then, because we really don’t believe “God has this” and “love wins” we become defensive, angry, exclusionary, and even oppressive.
Instead of letting God be God we attempt to make the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omni amorous one a tiny tribal deity we can manipulate and turn loose on our enemies.
Part of the problem, I suspect, is that when God calls us God only gives us one thing.
When God called Sarai and Abram he called them from affluence, and a life filled with resources, into the desert. “Go from your place to the place I will show you.”
“OK! Can I have a map?”
“NO! Just go. There will be a place. I promise.
I promise I will bless you.
But not so that you can hug power and wealth to yourself,
but so that you can be a blessing.
I will bless you and my blessing will flow through you to all the world!
Abram and Sarai were also to walk away from privilege and power,
into the unknown, and walk into the unknown with only a promise.
When Jesus came, he asked the same thing of those who would follow him.
It is interesting that when you listen to people talk about Jesus’s call,
they focus on passages that tell them to be “fishers of followers” (proselytizers)
and promise they will be light, and find life. That they will be blessed.
Yes! All that is true
But they seem to forget that they are called to leave a lot behind.
Money perhaps, power certainly.
And they forget that they are called to be blessing.
They are call called not to individual blessing, but corporate blessing
They are called not to look out for themselves, but for the common good.
This is where we get it wrong.
We think God is for our tribe (USA, USA). God is not
We think following god is the gateway to power and riches.
It may be, but ONLY so that we can then turn around and much of our wealth away to support those who have less, and use our power to help the vulnerable and oppressed.
When we forget the second movement, the process of investing our wealth and power in the common good. We have misunderstood the promise.
And we fail to become the promise.
That is what we see playing out in America today.
And that is an unfolding tragedy.
It is time once again to be called.
Out of our entrenched places.
Out of our old securities.
Our of our allegiance to affluence and domination,
and into that place God will show us,
if only we will trust.