Castles in the Sand

When the waters rise, will our castles remain?

These stories show us the inclusivity and community aspects of Jesus’ message and lifestyle. Just as he prompted Simon’s nets to catch every fish, his ministry was vast and reached the farthest corners of society with hope and healing.

Luke 3 A couple days ago I began a closer look through the Gospel according to Luke, reading through the first two chapters in an effort to really see some things that I may have missed before. Click here if you’d like to go back and check out that post. Today, I’m looking at Chapter …

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I’ve heard these stories many times, so my goal is to read it with a fresh mindset and see things I either haven’t noticed before or that I rarely see highlighted. I hope you join me in this process for two reasons: 1. It’s always good to read about Jesus and 2. I think we’re going to see some things that really don’t line up with the message white American evangelical Christians in particular are promoting in our current culture. In the spirit of the “back to the Bible” movement that supposedly informs their theology, I’m narrowing it down and going back to Jesus. If we truly seek to follow him, isn’t this where we should start?

“Nobody believed in us” and “religious persecution” both have honest and true examples in our world. Unfortunately, both have been so heavily watered-down by ridiculously false claims that they’ve lost all meaning and have become cliché. This is an incredibly fragile time for our country and world. Let’s not lose focus of what’s important by clinging to false narratives that only harm our mission of sharing God’s love with the world around us.

But at some point (hopefully sooner than later) it will end. At that point, we’ll be left to pick up the pieces. And there will be a lot of pieces as we discover just how devastating this experience will be for all of us in so many ways – medically, socially, culturally, economically. I pray that as we go through this together (apart, please respect the restrictions for going out as much as you can), we will seriously reconsider some of the deeply rooted aspects of our American personality.

Religious freedom means I had every right to pray while attending public school and wear my (painfully) corny shirts while proudly strutting around with my Bible to showcase my extreme holiness (which entirely missed the point of the Gospel, but I digress). It also means Muslim students have an equal right to pray in school, wear hijabs, host Quran study groups and read their holy texts in their quiet times. It means Jewish students can do the same. As can Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and all others.

The truth exposes. It places things out in the open. From there, we can respond and move on. The opposite almost always grows into something uncontrollable, as our quest to hide the truth leads to piles of increasingly larger lies piled on top of lies that all threaten to destroy our house of cards and expose our hypocrisy.

In all situations, consider how you would want it to happen if the roles were reversed. That’s what Jesus told us to do. I promise even the slightest consideration of this premise in our daily lives will radically transform our attitudes and actions toward the world around us. It will force us to acknowledge their humanity, their feelings, their pain. And it will force us to acknowledge our role in causing it. Maybe then we’ll actually be able to engage the world the way Jesus did.