Castles in the Sand

When the waters rise, will our castles remain?

Boy kneels with American flag in front of rows of tombstones

May this Memorial Day serve as a wake-up call to bring us back and see if there’s any way to save what we’re in the process of destroying. Otherwise those millions of lives will have been given in vain.

Woman wearing a mask and holding lemon in a grocery store

I’m thankful for opportunities to learn something new, even when the realization seems so obvious that I feel quite stupid. Far more important than my personal feelings is the chance to make a minor temporary change to how I go about my life so I can do my own little part to protect others. Because I believe that all life – any single life – is worth the minor discomfort of me wearing a mask to protect others when I’m in public.

In this passage, we see a highlighting of the essential role of women in Jesus’ ministry, and we see a solemn warning against misusing the secrets of the kingdom of God revealed to us through the words and life of Jesus. Let us keep both in mind as we move forward in our efforts to follow Christ and be the lamp on a stand in our world today.

Hand holding lantern in a forest

This pandemic is a chance for us to come together as a country and see what’s really most important to all of us as life and the health of our friends, family and neighbors takes center stage. Even in the midst of this pandemic, we’ve seen the unwillingness of certain groups to accept truth lead to greater spread of the disease. It is in this time that we must step back and really self-assess as to whether our sources of information are reliable or if we’re allowing partisan gaslighting to turn us against entire groups of people based on manipulation. We must do better if we hope to survive as a nation through this period not just of medical turmoil but some of the greatest political division we’ve ever seen. In order to do so, we must start with a firm foundation: a foundation of truth.

Imagine for a moment that, instead of real life, this were a movie about a nation-wide and global pandemic bringing our lives to a screeching halt while threatening to kill millions if we don’t act responsibly. Hearing the president and some of his most influential supporters espouse an opinion that we need to sacrifice certain groups of people in order to boost the economy because “the cure can’t be worse than the disease,” we would react with horror at such a suggestion. We would unquestionably hope for the downfall of those leaders, seeing them for the selfish villains they truly are.

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.