Perhaps the only way to really experience Christmas as it was intended is to renew the faith of a pre-Christmas people who did not yet know the Savior whose justice and righteousness we seem to stubbornly resist at every turn
The deep and abiding anger that we harbor at the world as it is today will kill us in greater numbers than the actions of crooked cops, Trump-loving white nationalists or mass shooters. As elusive as it may seem, seeking the peace that surpasses all understanding must be our daily work.
In confronting white nationalist terror and the Washington-based bigotry that has invited it into the mainstream, we must be both fierce in our struggle but also prayerful in our devotion. We must call this nation to repent for its sins and call it too to save itself from this “corrupt generation.”
We need God’s very essence and being to persuade those in power to see the work that they do through God’s eyes, to adopt and embrace God’s view of things, and then to make it happen in the legislation they produce, the policies they enact and the initiatives they advance.
“A love supreme” is fierce, faithful, steadfast and unmovable, and therefore is able to anchor us when we must weather the individual and corporate storms that assail us. But it is also empowers us to build the bonds of solidarity that will ultimately be the source of our shared prosperity – and the site of God’s glory.
The Bible says that we have this treasure in earthen vessels, but moments of moral reckoning, such as the one we are enduring now, remind us just how fragile earthen vessels really are.
Whatever moral credibility American evangelicals once had, they have lost. They have chosen to die on the 45th hill, and it has been painful and despairing to watch. Our nation desperately needs strong faith communities that are able to articulate a clear moral voice, even if it convicts them, too.
Aretha Franklin was the “Queen of Soul” because her voice and her musical phrasing – and the spirit that both articulated – reached something deeper in all of us; and she did it in a way that really no one else with her talents ever did.