Racism denies the image of God in humankind. It seeks to destroy God’s likeness in every person, both in those who invite and ignore racism, and in those who are the recipients of it, repudiating what God created and the way God created it.
God’s compassion needs to be experienced and expressed: experienced by us as his people and expressed to the people around us.
“I am anxious about what the church may look like in the next few months. I am constantly preoccupied and thinking about what we need to do. This often leads me to feel overwhelmed and inadequate, as I try to anticipate what we need to be doing next.”
When the strain is greatest, let’s continue to forge ahead with creative resilience.
We need your Breath of Life, your Spirit-Wind that slowly fills our lungs with quiet life,
that slows our breathing away from
billowing into our cells
the warm, still calmness of being.
“The thwarting of strategy is an invitation for God to do a deeper work of character.”
Given that local relationships will drive much of the local response, the following examples help address a couple of immediate needs faced by clergy and congregational members: church Coronavirus communication and communicating with vulnerable populations with proactive hospitality.
It may seem counter-intuitive to consider church history in any discussion of outbreak, pandemic, or plague; we live in an era of hazmat suits, microbiology, and gallons of gelatinous hand sanitizer. But while our approach to disease containment and pathology is far different than you would find in rural Germany in the 1500’s, there is profound wisdom and perspective in reflecting on the posture of faith communities in our past.
Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian pastor, but I believe that actually he was a Methodist deep down inside. Why do I say that? I don’t know anyone who more fully lived out the concept of “prevenient grace.”
The question of whether testimony of following Jesus Christ is genuine isn’t a new question birthed solely from a time on the planet when mass communications highlight celebrity lifestyles. The early church dealt with this question, and leaders often counseled prudence, care, pastoral sensitivity, and community accountability.