Racism denies the image of God in humankind. It seeks to destroy God’s likeness in every person, both in those who invite and ignore racism, and in those who are the recipients of it, repudiating what God created and the way God created it.
What is some of the stuff you need to leave behind as you begin the new year? What can you drop off your weary, bending back to make your trek into the New Year a bit easier and far more meaningful?
We can’t run
from this. No matter how powerful, wealthy, famous, or holy we are, we are ashes. No matter how great of an influencer on social media we are, we are
ashes. No matter how big a church we are part of, we are ashes. We are ashes. We are broken. We are sinful.
This realization of brokenness is one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive.
“We are not only impoverished in love; our loves are disordered, out of alignment. We can attempt to cushion them as much as we want; only realigning misplaced joints will relieve the pain, though.”
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” - The Jesus Prayer The Jesus Prayer has been prayed around the…
It’s dangerous to ground our whole understanding of the second person of the Trinity in a scenario in which the only way we know him truly depends on human sin, as if fallenness is necessary in order to know the Word. Because of fallenness, we know the Word as Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh. But to suggest the only possible universe in which we could truly know God is one that has the crucifixion means that God in some way ordained human sinfulness so that we could know him.
How did we get here? We thought we were strong, faithful, and following where God led. But what if we weren’t?
Worm Theology is probably a good moniker for such belief. It imprisons humanity in this notion that our sin has made us worthless. It fetters us to the falsity that the evil within us has so completely broken us that we literally have no value.
It sounds pious. It sounds like a good understanding of the holy character of God lies behind it. It sounds like something Christians should say. But is this at all what the scriptures teach? Or is this just a leftover from the shame-laden sermons we heard in our youth?
Beginning at the point of our believing that it is God’s desire to forgive, confession becomes not a morbid discipline, not a dark groveling in the mud and mire of life, not a fearful response to a wrathful, angry God who is out to get us if we don’t shape up. Rather, confession becomes an act of anticipation, a response to the unconditional call of God’s love…
It’s not likely we’ll ever get back the things that were taken – especially those intangibles like “peace of mind.” Things are just things (maddening at first, yes, but in the end moths and rust doth corrupt and thieves break in and…well, apparently, they steal). But I can’t get back the blissful pre-break-in peace of never having had my home violated. There are many clichés about lost innocence. Are those instances just a bite-sized serving of the tragedy of Paradise Lost? Theologians have analyzed the fall of Adam and Eve ad infinitum. There’s a simple truth, however, that the average preschooler is capable of comprehending: Eve and Adam both took something that didn’t belong to them. As simple as that.