As we turn on the news, much to our surprise, we see that another tragic event has occurred. Someone opened fire in a church, a school, a concert. Someone offered their own life for their cause. And the list can go on. It happens so frequently that I can say I am not really all that surprised anymore – only saddened. I only feel grief for the victims’ families who never had a chance to say “goodbye.” I feel anger towards the people committing these violent acts against people with no respect for human life.
Right after the Charleston shooting, the pastor at the church I was serving with said that “now, if any time, is not the time to be silent.” I have to agree. How we we cope with the fact that people let hate and evil work in them so much that they are willing to go so far as to blow themselves up just to prove a point?
We post tons upon of tons status’ on the internet, crying out “Pray for _______;” “Peace be with _______;” and the truth is: you can be bigger than that. Many of us leave it right there. We post these things and think that those words are sufficient enough to make people want to love the world instead of end the lives of innocent people with whom they disagree. “People need Jesus because without him we’re killing each other” the pastor went on to say.
Why are we so afraid to worship out loud and let people know that we serve a God who is bigger and greater and stronger than any of the stupid, hateful crap this world’s evil can ever throw at us? Do you believe that? Some people call it being “overly evangelical” to proclaim such a thing outside of a church building where someone could actually hear. What eternal bad can come from people who are showing what God’s love means to other people? If the people who claim Jesus as Lord of their lives don’t tell the world who Jesus is, who do you expect to? Who will tell people the good news that Mary Magdalene had to share after finding an empty tomb as the result of our RESURRECTED JESUS? Who will act as a medium for people to continually experience the grace that Christ died for? Or is that too much to ask? Are we settling for cheap grace? Is it too much for us to give God some credit for the awesome things that happen in our lives in the midst of some of our pain? Is it too much to want to get so entangled in the love of Jesus that we might actually want to tell someone? I certainly hope not, but it sure seems so in our progressive society. You don’t have to shove it down everyone’s throats, but it’s okay if they know you’re a Christian by your actions and witness.
Why don’t we speak up and share the love? What if through our words people of all nations were able to experience a change of heart?
I, personally, find today’s Christians lazy. I’m equally as guilty, too. I don’t read my Bible every day. I don’t say all the right things or do all the right good deeds every time, but I try. I try because I know that through Jesus Christ I am my best self. It means showing people love and not hate when they really just piss me off. It means telling other people the story of the power given to me to heal, to comfort, and to love others in times like these. It means telling someone that they, too, can have what I have – and best of all, it’s FREE! Now is as good of a time as ever to own your own faith, to dive deep into the Word, and to meditate and hone in on how we can be better, loving people.
When is the time that we will speak up like we honestly want to make disciples of the world? Educated, prepared, disciples. In my ideal world, everyone loves Jesus. I know it isn’t likely that I will see that in my lifetime (or ever), but why not start working for the future now? Let’s show the world who our God is and what is possible when we show unconditional love. Let’s change people’s hearts. This is not a time to be silent. Speak up.