Join me in welcoming guest writer Robb Morgan today!!

Current culture; polarized views; how do we respond?

Check out Robb’s poem & perspective…

 

#Hashtags
Baltimore; Common Core; Climate Change and Lebron James
Internet trolls; primary polls; Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray….Love your enemy

Oil Fracking; NSA hacking
Gay, Straight, and Presidential Debates
Red or Blue, black or white; Clinton or Cruz, through pain and fright
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…Love your enemy

He did this, she said that
Gossip, slander, terrorist attacks; another divorce and excessive force
PARCC tests and civil unrest; Koch Brothers and countless others
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…Love your enemy

Pros and cons, for and against
Same-sex marriage, military defense
Poverty, charity; unmanned drones
Glass houses and a handful of stones
The list goes on and on…. and on
Whether 1 percent or 99 don’t just tout the party line
From both pride or prejudice comes the cry for justice …”Crucify Him!”
The human race…. is starving for grace

To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…. Love your enemy

 

We live in a world that is highly polarized and in communities (and even households) that are often deeply divided!  A world in which complex dynamics of systemic poverty, racial inequality, economic opportunity are often reduced to over-simplistic statements and insensitive tweets and social media posts and #hashtags.

Beyond that, we live in a world that is constantly asking us to choose sides, to take up arms, to pick which team we are on and which team we are against and to walk in lockstep with their political ideologies and platforms.  Our teams are often depicted by colors, demarcations that allow us to know who is with us and who we are against – red and blue, black and white, light and dark; Scarlet & Gray, Maize & Blue. [Ohio reference for those not in O H I O]

We are about to enter into a political season in which our state, and specifically our portion of the state will be overwhelmed by political rallies and campaign slogans.  A battleground state contested between opposing forces highlighting, in some cases, competing values between spouses and siblings OR  mortal enemies – right or left, liberal or conservative.  We live in a political battleground state – a swing area, in the swing county, of the swing state for the presidential election each year proven true since the 1960s. As Columbus [OH] has gone, so has the presidency. And many of us have perspectives, thoughtful ones, informed ones, backed by grounded research, family heritage and legacy –  convictions for which are prepared to  “die in a ditch.”

And then there is the “other” – sometimes a distant faceless foe, in other cases close to home – a sibling, a spouse, a schoolmate or roommate, the neighbor with yard signs – the other, our enemy.

As opposed to our perspectives, theirs are ill-informed

  • OR they are uneducated
  • they are deceived OR
  • worse – immoral; they are darkened, blind or deaf and dumb.  By action and deed – real and perceived, thought and ideology – the “other” is our enemy.

And the narratives, agendas and platforms of all sides are akin to a “kingdom”  governing principles – social, familial, relational, economic that dictate how we live and how we think the “other” ought to.

Kingdoms with fortified walls and strong defenses.

Kingdoms with spokesman and experts, attorneys and statistics, with leaders and legends.

As in days past, kingdoms look for allies, for kindred spirits and like minds.  Unlikely alliances can be formed- but the enemy of my enemy is indeed my friend.

And as modern day Kingdoms look at the landscape for allies and allegiances, we look for those who will validate our position and posture.  And many turn to Jesus – He likes us and therefore is like us.  We like what he likes and therefore he likes what we like.

We hate what he hates and therefore he hates what we hate.

“I wonder If he’ll join our team?”   

And Jesus’s response, “how about you join my Kingdom?”

 

Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 

Robb Morgan is the Lead Pastor at Delaware City Vineyard in Delaware, OH.

Robb and his wife, Julie Morgan, comprise the Pastoral Team. It is their responsibility to seek and follow God’s leading and, in so doing, to set direction for the church. http://delawarecityvineyard.org