Now, more than ever, I am burdened by what I teach and preach. I find myself looking at the faces of the so-called faithful. Some seem tired and unaffected. Some seem expectant and committed. All come to seek refuge, experience community, exhibit spirituality, express faithfulness. They come to hear God’s voice.
Do we call them to accept Christ again or do we compel them to accept as our sisters and brothers the poor and oppressed? Do we ask them to be faithful to God or to be faithful to those who need God the most? Do we call them to celebrate their blessedness or compel them to transform the world so that all can experience fullness? Do we send them forward believing God loves them alone or do we compel them to seek equality and justice for we all our children of God? Do we seek approval in the ways that we teach and preach so that we will prosper or do we live our lives as true disciples, following Christ who preached, healed, fed, and defended the poor until he was killed?
I feel the urgency of the task before us. In Jesus’ time and today, we live in a violent and unjust world. Jesus preached about the ‘Kingdom of God.” Each time, it was a critique to the Kingdom or empire of Rome. Jesus called people to resist domination and oppression. Jesus spoke about justice and peace. Jesus came as a human being and lived a life we can follow.
It is my hope that when our students and alumni preach and teach their congregations, they choose the more difficult choice. Only then do we serve God and follow Christ. Only then can we participate in seeking the Kingdom of God.