Advent Word of the Day - Voice

Dec. 7 - Word of the Day - Voice

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I would wake up in the morning, turn on NPR and catch up on what was happening in the world while I prepared to go to work.

I can’t do that anymore. Not because I disagree with that particular station, I can’t watch or listen to ANY newscast anymore. I catch headlines and if I want to learn more, I go on a deep dive using sources I trust. If I spend too much time in the news of the world it hurts my soul. Our politicians have lost their @#$%^& minds, world leaders have lost their !@#$^% minds, large churches and church leaders have lost their !@#$% minds and everyone is an expert. They are experts in the law without having been to law school, they are experts in the history of the Middle East even though their last history class was 27 years ago, they are experts in the bible despite never having gone to seminary, a bible study, or even Sunday morning worship half the time.

There are days when I want to scream at the top of my voice, “What is wrong with you people?????”

And that voice often echoes back to me. Ouch.

"Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: That with one mind, and with one voice, you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:5-6

We are not of one mind. We never have been. We are messed up humans. I have always been an advocate of a "both/and" in ministry and in life instead of "either/or," but it is getting harder to hold onto the radical middle. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely areas where we need to choose a side and to speak out on the side of mercy and justice, but there are things that we are fighting about and arguing over that are a waste of time and energy. There is a phrase that has wrongly been attributed to John Wesley, but it summarizes much of his teaching and it goes something like this:

Unity in essentials, diversity in the rest, understanding in all things.

So as people who follow Christ, with one voice maybe we can start to:

- acknowledge that God's ways are not our ways.
- acknowledge that God calls us to something better.
- know that we are called to care for the sick, feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, comfort the prisoner.
- know that when we fail to follow God's ways that there is grace and forgiveness 
- love God with our all of heart, soul, mind and strength.

And with one voice let us show our neighbor that we love them too. We are to love THEM as we love OURSELVES.

I am a work in progress. I don't know how to do this yet. I am not even close to figuring it out, but a good place to start would be to stop shouting, take the log out of our eye, and start listening, listening to each other and especially listening to that "still small voice" of God. 

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