The whole notion makes me glad it’s Christmastime.
I find myself wrestling with my ministry lately. Not questioning my faith. But, trying to figure out God’s direction for me, in this time.
It’s hard to shift gears. It’s hard to return to business as usual. So, as I prepared to preach this weekend I still couldn’t ignore the world around me. Every thought led me to read the Scripture through the lens of this latest National explosion of state sponsored violence against a certain kind of people.
I found myself asking: when is enough? When is it ok to return to preaching as usual? I’ve never been much for preaching a Gospel that doesn’t comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Yet it seems as if the present times calls for something more.
As the days pass, we find more and more to lament. It was Trayvon, then Jordan. We thought it was just Florida. Florida’s crazy anyway, ain’t it? But then it was Mike and Kajime. It was Eric. It was Tamir. It was Rumain. One after another, Black male after Black male is being gunned down by those charged to protect and serve. And, with grand jury after grand jury failing to indict it seems as if the authorities can act with impunity.
And all Society can say is that #BlackLivesMatter.
But it’s all so hallow. The reality is – in this Society – #BlackLivesMatter is a big lie. A farce. A comfortable thing we tell ourselves to appease our apathy to justice.
Case and point: Benjamin Watson’s Thanksgiving Day Facebook post in response to Ferguson has been liked nearly 1 million times. It was talked about on the major media networks. Everyone was praising his thoughtful comments.
But, even in their praise it’s as if they are applauding a Negro for being “so well spoken.” For, not even those major media outlets that promoted his message actually addressed the very urgent point he made.
Despite all the crap, all around: the anger, frustration, fear, embarrassment, sadness, sympathy, offense, confusion, soul-searching and hopelessness, Benjamin Watson indicated that he ultimately had hope. And, his hope is rooted in Christ. So, because of his hope in Christ, he recognizes this to be a sin issue.
People applauded his statement. But, have we heard the discussions on our National sin? Or, did we hear that statement as someone else’s sin problem?
The problem is indeed sin. And until we admit that and repent, it will be difficult for us to claim that #BlackLivesMatter. Until we abandon the sinful ways of Society and unite ourselves to the Way of Jesus Christ, we cannot truly claim that #BlackLivesMatter.
So long as sin remains #BlackLivesMatter will remain a cute hashtag…a slogan to be posted on our signs, walls, timelines and feeds.
None of it matters. All of it is just noise. Do you hear all the noise? Do you see all the chaos? Let me break through the noise and chaos for you. Listen as I discuss the present social climate in the context of Christmas. Here’s my most recent sermon from Isaiah 40:1-11: