The day after the shooting in South Carolina on June 17th, 2015, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed. I saw the outcry for justice and the prayers for those left in the wake of the church murders in South Carolina….and I was left with so many questions:
- With all of our cultural advancement why do we still seem to be regressing in our treatment of fellow mankind?
- How can I as a white male empathize in any way with the pain of my African American brothers and sisters?
- Why, when Jesus said we would be known for our love of one another, are we far from being a unified church?
- Where is the voice of the followers of Christ bringing unity among brothers and sisters while focusing on loving all?
- If the Gospel is colorblind and the church is the body of Christ why do we wait for calamity before miraculously being healed of our laryngitis?
In Acts 1:8 Jesus promises that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. In light of the hatred, violence, immorality and terrorism our reality is faced with I cannot shout loud enough, “WE NEED TO HEAR FROM GOD!”
Jesus told us in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world.” John 1:5 states that, “light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” I don’t think you have to be a theologian to figure out that something is amiss.
In Algebra the only reason you get a wrong answer is because you approached the question (formula) wrong. As the church we should not be asking, “Why are all of these things happening?” We should be asking, “God, what would you have us do?” Furthermore, we should be asking this not after tragedy strikes but before, now, continuously!
When Jesus promised, in John 16:13, that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us, He wasn’t referring to a rearview mirror mentor. In fact, in the same verse He says that the Holy Spirit would tell of things to come.
Is it possible that we have too many voices shouting for our time and attention that we can’t hear what the Spirit would desire to show us? Or, are we hearing from the Spirit but too intimidated to speak up, fearing that we will be judged by a culture that desperately needs the love and voice of Christ?
The beautiful answer in all of this is so simple but might be overlooked as cliché: “Hear and Obey!” God desperately desires to speak into our lives guidance, instruction and wisdom. If we will commit to getting quiet we will hear from Him. Getting quiet means unplugging, logging off, hitting the mute button, shutting the door and being still. Hearing means putting down the list of things we want Him to do and starting a list of things He would have us do. Finally, we need a boldness, an Acts 1:8 power to obey whatever instruction He gives.
There is hope for our nation and our world. June 17th was a dark day, but it’s not our last day. Let the Gospel be colorblind and the Church be healed of laryngitis.
Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net