January 15, 2012

Civil Discourse

I have strong opinions, yet I hate to get embroiled in controversy.  If I speak, I risk making you a target.  I risk becoming a target.  When I center your views in my crosshairs, I create a very real threat to our living in love.

But then there are the demands of truth.  Love cannot be lived apart from the lens of truth. 

That is what the other guy says too.

Just the day before yesterday my intention was to come down firmly on the side of the Jesus whose outstretched arms on the cross embrace all of creation in loving mercy.

Today, the first thing I saw as I entered the vestibule of the church was a sign inviting me to "protect tradional marriage" by voting "no on civil unions."  Pre-printed for me was a dual copy notice on which I could fill in the blanks with my name and address.  We'll fill in the names of your state senator and representative for you.  Here's a pen.

No thank you.

To be honest, this gets my hackles up in so many ways.  But it is not about my hackles.  Not one single hackle.

It's about Jesus.  It always has to be about Jesus.  That's what it means that he is Lord.  He's the boss.

Here's what he says:

"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.'" - Matthew 28:18-20a

And what does he command?

“'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.'" - John 15:12-13

How shall I love?  As I have loved you.  Broken.  Humbled.  Poured out.  Dying.

I am a member of the body of Christ. As he is, so must I be.

Here's what I need to ask myself:  What does it look like for me to be broken for the sake of the broken world?  Humbled for the sake of the humiliated?  To be poured out on behalf of the wounded?  To die so that my friend might live?

What I know is that, when I saw that sign, those postcards, I had to ask myself who it was who was broken, humiliated, wounded, dying.  How do I stand with him, with her?

I cannot, will not, must not sign your postcard.

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