The image stays with us because a lot of us accepted the challenge. We’re daring to hope despite the anxiety we’re feeling from the threats that surround us.
The Speaker of the House recently named the source of at least one of the threats as coming from within. In the case of Congress, the Speaker was referring to members of Congress threatening other legislatures.
But the threat from within also includes the church that we hold dear. The domestic terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capital did so, they claim, because the violence they perpetrated was God’s will. They claim a version of the truth offered to them by false prophets claiming biblical authority. But their truth contradicts the trajectory of the biblical narrative. The threat is from within.
Bridges is a series about “pursuing God’s heart for racial reconciliation.” But let’s be clear. Race is a human construct created for the purpose of creating a social, economic, and even religious hierarchy. Reconciliation begins with recognizing the raw truth that humans are fond of creating our own sense of the truth. 1
Our current series is based on the prophecies of Jeremiah. By January 31 our message reaches a startling conclusion. We are the people of Judah. Our denial and blaming others for our own failings is coming to a predictable conclusion. God is confronting our nation. Surrender to exile by giving up privilege and power. Share our resources with our neighbors. Rebuild systems that perpetrate injustice. Take care of God’s planet.
God is merciful. The stories found in scripture offer testimony that God insists on love. God demands love first and foremost towards the One True God and no others. But loving God requires that we love one another, our planet, and ourselves. So reconciliation is a process that frees us in all four directions.
Our book club concludes our study of Melissa Spoelstra’s book, Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World, in a couple of weeks. 2 We plan to read and study Latasha Morrison’s book as part of our celebration of the Easter Season that we sometimes call Lent. It is a time of reflection, repentance, and reconciliation. Plan to join us each Wednesday at 12 Noon either in the main meeting room (Library) or online.
I pray that you will join us each Sunday morning at 10:30 am. We plan to be live on both Facebook and YouTube. We go live at 10:30 am. You can find these links along with more information about us, or join our live broadcast on our website at FlintAsbury.org. And especially, I look forward to being with you, wherever you are, on Christmas Eve at 6 pm.
1 Latasha Morrison, Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation. Yates & Yates and Penguin Random House, 2019.
2 Melissa Spoelstra. Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World. © 2014. Nashville: Abingdon Press.