|ps from ps…|
If someone says – “The Lord be with you!” – what might your response be to this? “And also with you?” – maybe if you’re a churchy person.
What about someone sneezing? “God bless you” usually follows without anyone even thinking about it.
Or if you’re from Buffalo right now and someone cheers: “Hay-a-a-a,” you cheer right back and echo “Hay-a-a-a.” (That’s the Bills shout song typed out if you couldn’t see that.)
Call and response. Pastor Jeremiah in his sermon for Sunday will have an excellent message highlighting the “three” Wisemen (we’re not entirely sure it was exactly three of them but there were three gifts and we assume someone wasn’t forced to carry two gifts and one guy didn’t get away with traveling not carrying anything…so three it is) and the gifts that they brought to the newborn Christ child. They followed a star and had faith that an even greater Light was out there. They were compelled to go and share these gifts. Despite the fears of a tyrant ruler in King Herod and an incredibly difficult journey, they still responded faithfully to bring their gifts.
See star – go and follow. Call and response.
When I pressed “send” on last week’s PS from PS, all was calm (ish) in the world. Then a few hours later, the Capital was stormed, lives were lost and symbols of freedom and democracy appeared in greater jeopardy than we have seen in recent times.
A week later, how do we respond to this “call?” What is the proper way to follow up: “Evil rears it’s ugly head” so we should say/do ” __________________________!”
How do we fill in that blank as followers of Christ?
I believe we should take the example of the Wisemen. Respond in faith. Respond with gifts. Head directly toward the Light even when it’s a difficult journey.
Our faith in Christ compels us to reject “sin, the devil and all his empty promises.” My stomach turned when on the videos during the uprising I saw flags that equated Jesus’ name with any of these actions or people. So when others twist Jesus’ truth, we need to even more boldly respond in faith.
The gifts that each of us have been given to share need to be shared now more than ever. They might not be gold, frank and myrrh (or maybe they are), but instead compassion, love and grace. Listening ears for those we differ from. Voices of justice. Pens that write letters or emails to leaders who are leading with those same characteristics of God’s hope to encourage them.
And it might not be an easy journey. Leaders might attack you verbally. Parties/Faimly might disagree with you. Voting patterns might have to change. “What I’ve always done” might no longer be “what I need to do.”
The “call” comes again and again. Last Wednesday, it was blatant, easy to see and wrong. As people of faith, what does our “Haw-a-a-a” now look like?
How shall we respond?
Lord, when the calls of evil emerge, help us to live into our faith, bring our gifts and travel the difficult road with you. Amen
Still in One Peace,