Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Other Side of the Line in the Sand

One of the things I love about reading Seth Godin is how he often closely skirts the Gospel even though he's writing about internet and the connection economy. This week he posted a blog titled "We need to hate them more" about how many people build up a following or fan base by rallying people against the "other."
"It's tempting to enjoy the short-term rush that comes from hating the other guys. It's certainly a good way to get the crowd on its feet. But it doesn't last. ... Hating the other almost always destroys the hater." 
It reminds me of a sermon I heard once in which the preacher said, "Whenever we draw a line in the sand, Jesus will be on the other side of it." I don't remember what text she was preaching from, but there's no shortage of options. Jesus defending the adulterous woman in John 8? Jesus defending the children to his disciples? Jesus being rebuked for eating with "sinners?" Whenever someone tries to tell Jesus "That person is an outsider," Jesus' reply is always, "Then so am I."

There's no shortage of examples of people in our world who make their name by pointing fingers at the "other." They tell us that what the other thinks/says/has done/might do is too dangerous/stupid/evil/wrong for us to trust them/listen to them/work with them/be around them/allow them to live.

Whenever we draw a line in the sand, Jesus will be on the other side of it.

It's easy to play favorites; it's uncomfortable to build a bigger circle. It's easy to point fingers; it's uncomfortable to listen.

I think some discomfort is a healthy part of faith. Love takes risk. Forgiveness is hard. Admitting when we're wrong feels unnatural. Being patient and listening to other opinions seem like luxuries I don't have time for. That's why I have to work at them and pray for them.

Perhaps when Jesus said faith was a narrow road, it wasn't that any of us are walking it alone, but that it's hard for us to make room for all the people Jesus has invited to walk it with us.

From the Gray,
Pastor Ari

“Blessed are the shallow; depth they'll never find.” -Jars of Clay, "Frail"

No comments:

Post a Comment