God picks sides

I can't sleep. My alarm will go off in a few hours and I'll get to gather together with faithful people seeking to find deeper meaning and connection to God in a broken world that looks especially ugly today.

When the world feels like it's on fire, I can't help but think about what I know is true about the God of Jesus.

God is incomprehensibly, recklessly, absurdly committed to a boundless sort of love. A love that nobody can hide from, that pursues us relentlessly. And that is true for every last one of us.

But this reckless and absurd love is not impartial.

In the midst of pain and hurt, God picks sides. But God doesn't pick sides the way the world does.

If you are scared and hurting tonight because of the color of your skin, the country of your birth, or the accent of your voice, God is on your side.

If you are mad as hell that somehow, in 2017, thousands of people are reviving anti-Semitic, anti-minority, anti-immigrant cheers and thoughts and actions, God is on your side.

If you had the courage to peacefully stand up to people with racist, white supremacist, bigoted beliefs, God is on your side.

If you were plowed into by a car driven into the crowd, killed or maimed by hate-crazed violence, God is on your side.

If your little island finds itself a pawn in the angry posturing of world leaders and you are living in constant fear for what tomorrow brings, God is on your side.

These are things I know to be true because of how I read my Bible. Because again and again and again the God I worship looks at conflict and hate and pain and picks the side of the underdog, the despised, the outclassed outcast, and says, "this is where I will stand."

There is hope here for all of us. Even those of us who don't find ourselves in the people with whom God is standing.

Because God's grace is available to all people. Full stop. No exceptions.

Because all of God's beloved children are called to stand on God's side, no matter where their birth family or life circumstance places them.

Because God's kingdom is real and present and right now and forever, and it compels us to grab a hammer and start building.

God's heart breaks tonight. My heart breaks tonight. So I will pray with my eyes closed tight, and then I will open them wide. I will open them wide, seeking to see the world the way God does:

As a place to build a kingdom of peace and justice. As a place where people don't find themselves superior based on the color of their skin or the nation on their passport. As a place where the lion lies down with the lamb.

The Good News will triumph. This is as true today as it was yesterday. It will be true tomorrow. But this does not let us off the hook; it does the exact opposite.

It compels us to live boldly. Fearlessly. Justly.

And it compels those things now.

–N

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