We live in a cruel and hard world. We always have, but Western white Christians have been insulated from corruption, violence, and oppression for a long time. We have cruised along, dropping aphorisms in the face of other people’s pain. God bless America.
I’ve gnawed on that grief this summer, mourning Eugene Peterson and raging at the Nashville Statement. I’ve processed the loss of trust, the hypocrisy of a Church that told me that only the Gospel mattered, and then snuck in a bunch of fine-print clauses at the end. I’ve wrestled with being betrayed by a community that talked a big talk about saved-by-grace-alone, and then tacked sloppy works-righteousness on to their statements of faith.
You made us look foolish, Eugene. You made the lives of hope that we lead look foolish. God grant me the courage to not let my cynicism win. God grant me the courage to look foolish, again and again, because I haven’t stopped hoping.
How can our souls bless the Lord when we are standing on the edge of something so dark, so unknown, so dangerous to people we love, something crude and crass and selfish and small but with seemingly unlimited capacity to hurt millions...
I sat in my car outside the building I worked in, and cried, and prayed, and looked at my watch because I had to walk into that building in 45 minutes to preach a sermon to my broken hearted and oppressed and racist and lonely congregation.