Tuesday, December 6, 2016

For Such A Time As This

Note: This post is mostly directed at my Christian brothers and sisters. I know that there are those with different beliefs, or no belief at all, who are also called to be kind, compassionate, and loving, but I specifically want to address those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ.

You who know Christ - awaken! You who follow Jesus of Nazareth - come alive! You have been fed and nurtured over the years. You know the Gospel. You (try to) live the Gospel. You believe God is Love, that God is Light, and the Darkness cannot overwhelm the Light. You have fought many spiritual battles. You have been victorious, and you have failed, yet you still trust God.  You have been bruised and beaten, yet you have not been crushed! You have emerged from your trials wiser and stronger! And now - now that we see hatred and bigotry rising in our country; now that we see the highest office in our land filled by someone who speaks hatred, racism, and lies; now that we see the Darkness rising - now is our time. We were born for such a time as this.

Now is our time to do more good, to do more acts of kindness, to show more compassion, to love more. We know just what to do in dark times: to follow ever more closely the example given to us in the words and life of Jesus. To love the outcast, to love the poor, to have compassion on the downtrodden, to preach the Good News that everyone - everyone - is loved by God and is worthy of our love and concern. 

We know that in Christ there is “no Jew, no Gentile, no male, no female.” That means there is no “other” - no Muslim, no immigrant, no refugee, no gay, no straight, no American, no black, no white. There is only - only - children of God. There is not even an enemy, despite what politicians might tell you. For in Christ, we are called to love our enemies, which thereby imbues them with that very same Love that God has given us, and which no longer makes them our enemies, but our brothers and sisters.

We know all this because we have been recipients of this love all our lives. We know this because it has been imparted into our very souls by the Holy Spirit. We have been led to this time, here and now. We have been fed, taught, and nurtured this through all our years (be they many or few) and now we have the strength and power to act in this Love. For such a time as this.

It is easy to see the darkness all around us and give in to despair and hopelessness. But God is a god of hope! God’s very nature is one of love and rebirth. If we say we believe in God and that we follow Jesus, then we must hope, we must love. And we are empowered to do so by the Holy Spirit, breathing life and love and hope into our hearts and minds, so that we can share that love and hope with others. It is not our strength, but God’s. 

It is not easy to stand against the Darkness with your one feeble little candle. But that candle has the power to dispel the Darkness, and to give hope to those whose candles have gone out. If others see your candle, they are encouraged to let their own light shine. First there is one candle, then two, then three, then four, five, ten, twenty, a hundred, a thousand! And the Darkness cannot stand against that Light.

So let your light shine! Love extravagantly, as you have been loved! Give extravagantly, as you have been given to! For surely, you were born for such a time as this.

***If you are looking for organizations to donate to or volunteer with, see my previous post.