As I prepare these words for our journey in search of the better part, the images visible on screens and newspaper pages report interracial violence in the Midwestern United States and terrifying persecution of Christians and other perceived infidels by a new militant group in the Middle East. One result is hateful comments on social media from people who do not understand their power or privilege, touching off rifts among friends, family, and strangers as we seek to make sense of these incomprehensible realities.
The image of the invisible God, on the other hand, calls us to reconciliation. This passage amounts to a wondrous hymn and clear teaching on the matter. Its message carries above the cacophony of false teaching that suggested that Christ, by virtue of his coming in lowly flesh, was less than sufficient for salvation. On the contrary, the apostle declares, it is by means of his fleshly body that the One who is before and above all created things has transformed minds and deeds from lowliness to holiness, rooted and grounded in faith and hope.
Both fleshly bodies and minds and deeds lie at the center of the swirling media storm surrounding me now, and I am reminded of the audience Amos addressed. Cameras zoom in on looting in the Midwest, and screens display statistics about possible international intervention, dividing family and friends over issues, detracting attention from systemic mistreatment of individuals based on skin color or creed.
The heart of the matter is that it pleased God to reconcile all things and everyone by the peace of Christ. Any moment wasted busily blaming or bickering detracts from the power of Christ and the purpose of peace.
Reconciling God, as images of bad news swirl around us, make more visible your image in us. Through our faithful, hopeful words, slow down the busy to see and know your reconciling love. Amen.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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