“You know the tree by the fruit,
but just between me and you
I never do what I want,
I do what I’m taught
and I’ve been learning a lot
about the violence I’m capable of.”
– Derek Webb, “I Don’t Want to Fight”
I turned on the computer to set up school this morning. Another day, another disaster. Today it is an earthquake in Mexico. Tomorrow Hurricane Irma will hit Florida. If it isn’t the storms, it’s a fire. If it isn’t a fire, it’s a war. If it isn’t a war, it’s a riot. On and on and on. The whole world is under water or on fire, and I don’t just mean natural disasters.
My son’s Bible reading came cane from Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek; those who mourn; those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. If you hold anything against a brother or sister, make it right quickly. If you hold hatred in your heart, you are as guilty as a murderer.
As I stand on the sidelines and watch the world burn, I cannot help but hear Jesus asking me, “Did you learn to love?”
Is my opportunity to live a life of love running out? In this world of turmoil, is my heart truly right towards others near me? Do we take Him seriously when He says, “I tell you the truth”?
Do I say nice, Christian things with my mouth while operating in judgement and criticism in my heart?
Are we bringing our offerings to the altar while holding resentment against our brothers and sisters?
The earth is quite literally shaking, and we the Church are being given a wake-up call.
This is not a fire and brimstone sermon – it is a desperate call to believers to stop playing nonchalant, self-serving church and start living lives of sincere compassion. This is an opportunity to remember that our world is fallen and our time is fleeting. We must daily check our hearts and and pursue love with our whole selves.
Our moment of truth has arrived, Beloved. Let us be called Children of God.