Your house, home to Your glory, O Eternal One, radiates its light.Psalm 26:8 (The Voice)
I am fixed on this place and long to be nowhere else.
It seems as though the world is on fire. The global COVID-19 pandemic that is waxing and waning throughout the world. The economies that have been shuttered and, as a result, many millions of people are without work and without assistance as the systems they hoped would help have largely failed them. The brutal treatment of African Americans and other peoples of color in the United States throughout its history is again coming to a head with protests, uprisings, and calls for action. We are feeling the need for deliverance, justice, and peace now as much as ever.
God’s dream for the world, so manifest in the life of Jesus, spills into us at Pentecost, celebrated this past Sunday. It is a vision fulfilled in the prophetic and passionate voices and lives of those who follow the radical Jesus-way. But how do we respond when the systems around us feel too big to change, too powerful to overcome? The answer comes from that Pentecost reality: the Spirit of Jesus on a small group, gathered in a specific place, dedicated to a specific task. Let’s never forget that the work of Jesus and the continued work of Pentecost is small, ordinary, and local. I think one of the most important questions we can be asking each day is, “What did I do today to speak and live for God’s dream for the world?” When we all ask that question and seek to answer it with our acts of love and grace, collectively we can bring about change.
This Sunday the Narrative Lectionary (an alternative to the Revised Common Lectionary) begins a six-week series through the book of Job. It is an imaginative story seeking to answer questions about suffering and faith. Its rise from the exile period of the Hebrew people in Babylon, longing for a return to the place they believed God promised to them, can speak to our time as we long for something better together. Watch for the podcast series along with worship resources coming early next week.
Our hope is the way of Jesus, the standard-bearer of the commonwealth of God’s shalom, and the loving leader of that place that radiates the light of the Eternal One. May we be fixed on it and nowhere else.