I just saw something on Instagram stories that made me think quite a bit: “eternity with Jesus is my final goal, but while I wait…there’s beautiful work to be done here.” Man, I couldn’t agree more, but I think the biggest issue right now is the dispute within God’s kingdom of what that work truly is. I find myself arguing with many a Christian lately that the work to be done is advocating for pro-life campaigns, not giving up our American freedoms, anti-Christian rhetoric in schools, religious freedoms…I truly cannot say how much this is an example of missing Jesus points while He was here on earth. As Christians, we are literally supposed to be “Christ-like,” and I have yet to have proven to me where Jesus was saddled up next to Cesar trying to advocate for His believers’ freedoms. I don’t see Jesus picketing the whore houses. I don’t see Him rejecting Samaritans to favor the Jewish people. In fact, what I do see Jesus do is sit with the woman at the well, remind the religious leaders of the day that we’re all sinners and none is perfect. That the legalism of the Law does nothing but tell us a further need for Him. American Christianity has rejected Christ’s in-person example for American Nationalism and not only is it a horrific bad example of the beauty of Christ, it deters from the beautiful work here we have to do.
And I think that beautiful work is being with the people. Be where they are while they’re doing what they’re doing…REGARDLESS of what they’re doing. Are they getting an abortion? Sit with them. Are they getting married? Celebrate with them. Are they fighting for the marginalized? Stand with them. Are they caring for the foreigner? Open a seat at your table. We are unequivocally not called to correct people’s sin first; that is only Jesus’ job. Our primary job; this beautiful work, is to love each other (where we’re at) and to follow Jesus. Full. Stop. I’m tiring of hearing of “we need to vote for such-and-such because that’s what God would have us do.” Or, “vote for this candidate because they’re a Christian.” I truly believe that Jesus would not only never say such things, He would condemn the context in which they’re said; in HIS name. The literal only thing we are to do in Christ’s name is love. Everything else is His work. Our work is to point to His work.
Go live in the beautiful work that we’ve been commissioned to. Cry with the broken, yell about injustice, condemn the lies (even and especially if they’re done in Christ’s name) and ultimately point people to Jesus. We cannot do this critical work if we’re busy standing on one side of a picket line telling the other side all the reasons we “believe they’re going to hell.” True Christ-followers are in on a critical path now, one where it is hard to challenge the status quo of the American church as we were raised in, but I cannot encourage you more to not lose faith that even with all these “pastors” focusing on the politics instead of the real thing, Jesus is still the same beautiful He always has been. Just because people have clouded the clarity of just how beautiful He is, do not let that ruin your faith in what you know to be true about Him.
And, Lord help me to remember to not just strive for the mission that you gave us, but to be worthy of that calling.