A Call to Love

16 04 2013

With the bombing at the Boston Marathon yesterday we are reminded of the pain, suffering, and brokenness in the world.

I cannot begin to grasp or wrap my head around what type of person would do such a thing or what would drive an individual to commit such an evil act.  We must call a thing what it is…and the death, suffering, and pain that was dealt to those people cheering on their family, friends, and loved ones during an incredible, uplifting event, can be called nothing other than evil.

Seeing the pain and suffering plastered on the news…the wailing…the fear…the tears… the sorrow,

breaks my heart…

makes my stomach turn…

and makes me deeply angry.

Sisters and Brothers, these emotions are normal, I am sure of it.  And the emotion that usually takes control, at least for me, and consumes everything else is anger.  Which leads to seeking revenge…A clear sign that, indeed, violence simply begets more violence.

There must be another way…

A different way than this cycle of pain and suffering and death and negativity.

Amazingly there is another way.

The way of love.

The way that God wants us to choose… the way that God calls us to live.

We are called to love one another… to love all of creation regardless of race, class, sex, or species.

We are specifically called to love our enemies.  A difficult task indeed…a task that you can probably count on one hand ever actually seeing practiced.  And yet we must take Jesus and his words seriously.  As Shane Claiborne says, “When Jesus calls us to love our enemies, he doesn’t mean to kill them.”  And I’ll add, “Or hurt them, or degrade them, or seek revenge through them.”  We are called to love them.  A difficult, radical, seemingly impossible task, and yet it is our task.

My question is…

What if we did more loving and less judging?

What if individuals who commit these horrendously evil acts felt loved and a part of something greater than the hurt, individualism, pain, and separation that can be found on a daily basis?  Would they still feel moved to commit such acts if they saw love and grace daily?

What if instead of focusing on ‘Terror’ and ‘Fear’ we focused on Love and Relationships?

Maybe I’m being a bit idealistic…Maybe I don’t understand…Maybe I’m being a bit unrealistic…

Quite frankly though, I don’t care.

I’m tired of the way that our society and culture gives us; the way of separation, brokenness, and hate.

If God calls us to be unrealistic and idealistic then maybe we should give it a go, because our way clearly doesn’t work.

So, Brothers and Sisters, will we take the Call to Love seriously?  Or only when it benefits us and is easy to do?  Will we dwell in God’s promise of life even amidst death? Or will we dwell in the darkness of anger and revenge? Will we find our security in a God that forgives and loves unconditionally?  Or will we let ‘Terror’ and ‘Fear’ control our lives?

I pray that we can love.

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Doubts…

8 04 2013
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio

In light of the Gospel reading yesterday, the text that has been dubbed throughout history as “The Doubting Thomas” text, I decided to lay out a few of my own thoughts on the topic of doubt.  For the most part these are my thoughts and my opinions, but they have been shaped, of course, by my education, my study of scripture, and my own relationship and experience  with God.  A special shout out goes to Paul Tillich and his book, Dynamics of Faith.  Without reading this book, I probably would not have been able to reconcile my personal thoughts and beliefs with my calling to be a pastor.

You see, I had many questions.  I had many doubts.  About God.  About Faith.  About organized religion.  About Jesus.  About creation. About life.  About death.  About evil.  About suffering and pain.  Just to name a few…

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