Reconciliation   1 comment

Sometimes people send you things that you know that you just have to share. As we engage with the ongoing question of racism and racial unrest in our nation, one of our church family, Shannon Randolph, sent us a prayer that expresses powerfully how I feel. I asked her if I could share it with you:

Reconciliation

We acknowledge our part in this time – our responsibility in this season. We come, with heavy hearts. On our watch, we have abdicated our duties with the sins of omission and commission, choosing not to see what is clearly in front of us. The foundation of Your throne, righteousness and justice, has not been upheld by Your people who know this. Now the fruit of our apathy, denial, disregard and ignorance is manifesting. We plead guilty to it all. We have not stewarded Your heart expressed in diversity. Every human is our brother. Though our hearts cannot truly comprehend or feel the weight of this egregiousness, still we come and repent. We want to change our ways. We fall on Your mercy, asking for help for our weak flesh. We can do nothing apart from You. We are Your people, called by Your name. We humble ourselves and seek Your face. We turn from our wicked ways. We know You hear from heaven and will forgive our sins. We repent of any participation in racist words or actions that we have fed the beast that has led us to this place in history. We take on this lifestyle and present our lives to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Holy Spirit pierce us until we practice every ‘one another’ in Your word. Lead us and show us how to do this. Heal our wounded hearts so we can do what’s in Your heart to heal our land. Have Your way.

Psalm 60:2-3
You have made the earth tremble, You have broken it. Now come and heal it, for it is shaken to its depths. You have shown Your people hard things and made us drink the wine of bewilderment. 
Acts 17:26 Lord, You have set the boundaries of peoples and nations, even appointing our time in history.

Lord, increase our sensitivity.  We bow in Your grace, that our words would become appropriate actions, that we would face correction, own our mistakes, apologize for wounds inflicted and represent You well.
Jesus, You came to reconcile ALL things to Yourself, the things of earth and heaven, making peace through Your shed blood on the cross. We focus on the triumph of the gospel. Let the redemption of reconciliation begin in this arena. Bind us together with cords of love that cannot be broken, that we may be made one, as You prayed, that the world would know You are love
.

Decree: Our current national pain of racial injustice will become the burning wick of revival and justice, fanned into the flames of the Great Awakening.

Posted June 23, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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One response to “Reconciliation

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  1. Evolution
    I’ve been thinking this morning about evolution and the evolution of faith in particular. Evolution (to me) is simply the process of those without certain traits (genetic or otherwise) dying off and leaving behind those that have those traits to reproduce. In the game of Life, those who get to reproduce pass on their traits, and those who don’t … well, they die off.
     
    Evolution of faith is very similar. A faith that has the ability to be passed down to its children and new believers will continue. A faith that does not have that ability will shrink and ultimately die off. Compare the Catholics and the Shakers. The Shakers essentially opposed sex and reproduction. I’m not passing judgement on them. My understanding is their view was that there were already enough orphaned children and children coming from non-believers that they didn’t need to make more. The Shakers have largely died off – as of 2017 there were three members remaining (down from a peak of 5,000 in 1840).
     
    Conversely, Catholicism expanded exponentially for generations. They prohibited birth control, required babies to be baptized, convinced people that they would physically suffer for all eternity if they didn’t follow the church teachings. They conquered regions, giving people the choice to convert or die. And they excommunicated (or killed) heretics preventing heretics from reproducing or otherwise passing on their beliefs. From an evolutionary perspective, this is pretty powerful.
     
    What I see today is a different evolutionary force. People question the faith of their parents (and those who attempt to convert people) asking simple questions. Questions like – Would a loving God really cast out some of His children for all eternity because they didn’t do a good enough job following His rules during their short, 80 year life? Would a loving God really cast out some of His children because they didn’t worship Him properly? Does God really hate Jews, minorities and queers? When a faith teaches bigotry, and people mature enough to realize that God is not a bigot, what happens to those faiths?
     
    Well, they start to shrink. The children of the followers stop following the faith of their parents. When those churches reach out to secure converts, those efforts reap few if any harvest. With no ability to pass down its traits to its children and no ability to expand through conquest, the faith establishes a path towards extinction. Like people on a sinking ship, the remnants of the faith will claim they are the righteous, the one’s God truly loves, and they alone will be accepted into Heaven. And as the ship comes closer and closer to going underwater, they will yell (or sing) louder and louder trying to convince themselves that they are right and that they couldn’t possibly be mistaken. But nevertheless, the theology being taught will slowly die off, leaving behind followers of a more mature, more loving, more unifying faith. And so it goes that “God” allows for the evolution of faith.
     
    Followers of a bigoted faith don’t need to change. The rest of us simply need to be patient, demonstrate empathy, understanding, equality and respect for all that is, be welcoming to the religious refugees and exiles (to not judge them for their past beliefs) and speak out against the bigotry primarily to prevent it from becoming a societal norm again. In time, all faiths that maintain a level of spiritual maturity that is less than the spiritual maturity of society will become extinct.

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