Happy are people who make peace because they will be called God’s children. (Matthew 5:9, Common English Bible)
There have been a lot of troubling images out of the city of Baltimore.
These images of violence fill our TV and computer screens. And let’s be honest, they are a bit more than we can handle. The tension in our society over justice for all people seems to have collided in the streets.
Questions are being raised by many, especially those in the church, as to how we should respond. What does justice look like? What role does the church play in such discussions? Where is God calling us to be a part of this?
“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people'” (Matthew 4:19).
Remember playing the game “Follow the Leader” when you were a kid? I used to work in an after-school children’s ministry setting. At the end of the day, before the parents had arrived and when there just was not enough time to do another activity, we would play Follow the Leader.
I would be the leader to start, and we would go up and down halls; circle tables and chairs; tumble over couches. It was fun! And it usually always lasted the right amount of time. Continue reading
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.” (Matthew 5:3, The Message)
The bus’ tires left the smooth pavement and hit dirt and rocks. As the bus jolted down the road, the road got narrower and narrower. After turning tight corners and dodging huge rocks, we arrived at our destination. The small, leaning building was a church in the midst of a shantytown in Costa Rica.
As we drove past the homes that were constructed with random pieces of lumber and corrugated tin, I realized that I was not in Kansas (or Virginia) anymore. As the children ran barefoot along the bus to welcome us and out of curiosity, I knew that whatever my first world problems were, they didn’t compare to the lives of these in this shantytown.
I imagined the words of Mother Teresa as she escorted visitors down her streets of Calcutta: