Meg and I will be Quarantine Doctors this Halloween. With zero training or expertise our trusted cure will be candy vaccinations. The “needle” is actually a pvc pipe through which we can drop candy into buckets.
It is an appropriate costume for our time. Not only because of Covid, but we live in an era where everyone’s an expert. Sharing and forwarding knowledge on social media. A place where truth is subjective and there is always a post to prove my way.
But this back and forth has real life consequences. It divides our communities and prevents us from working together. Even when faced with pandemic numbers… we are lost in our own way.
Church we need to move out of the fog. Social media allows us to pretend this world is all about what we want… but it is a lie. We need to step back into our calling and realize our responsibility to others.
In John 2 Jesus sits down to make a whip. A surprising image of our God. It is the only time you may accuse him of violence. What drove him? Was he fighting for his rights? To force his agenda on the people?
It would be absurd to think Jesus was fighting for himself. His life was defined by the cross!
No, to fight for yourself was the way of the religious leaders. As Jews they had access to the temple. They had the means to pay the fees. They were male and could enter holier areas. Their place was secure and so they fortified it by keeping others out.
Jesus had all those rights, but still he sat down and made a whip. He set out to fight for others. He tore down the temple’s wall so all could experience God’s love. Even the enemies of God. Even us.
This Halloween leads into an election that is even more scary. No matter who your support, we are terrified. We are worried about violence. Panicked our candidate will lose. Horrified for the future of our country.
If we stay online this is all we see. The cloud is thick with fear that “my way” will be lost.
But we are called to the way of Jesus. To pray. To vote. To work. As Jesus.
The cure to fear is not getting my way. Nor is it protection. Just as the cure to Quarantine is not candy. The Bible teaches us that only love can drive out fear. This is the Way to healing not only our fear, but our world. We take up the fight of Jesus. We pray for others. We vote for others. We work for others.
This weekend and week I challenge you to do three things:
- Pray — Of course you will pray your candidate wins. But pray for BIGGER things than just an election result. God things. Pray for unity. Pray for peace. Pray for salvation.
- Vote — Pray about this too, let Jesus fill in your ballot.
- I confess for a time we, the church, replaced our theology with Republican ideology. For those waking to this reality there is the temptation to flip sides. But no political ideology should become our theology.
- Work — Be about the Lord’s work. Which means work for justice, strive for peace. Seek not your own rights, but that others may be saved. At the very basic level, love your neighbor.
I know I have a strong opinion about this election, as do you. But God died for the people who agree and disagree with us. God is not a party. Neither is God’s people. We rise above the cloud of arguments to bring true healing. To open the way for all to taste** and see that God is Good.
** Join us this Sunday for the start of a new series: The Meal. It works through the three passovers mentioned in John. At each Jesus is eating. Not just with his friends — he adds leafs to the table and pulls up chairs!
This week we look at John 2. Join us at 10:30, in-person with masks or streamed live on Facebook and Youtube.