The reality of God’s love and grace is available to you, take off the mask. Accept that you are accepted. And when you do that, when we do that here in these walls, well then our work together is to unmask the injustices outside of these walls—To unmask the racism and the sexism and the homophobia in our culture—to unmask the atrocities going on at the border—to unmask the culture of guns and violence in our country—we are the ones to unmask the cruelty and carelessness and unchristian actions, because we follow a God who refuses to wear masks and play games and so do we.
Denying our identity as disciples of Jesus is a major problem with Christianity in America today. If all the Christians in this so called “Christian nation’s” identity was in Christ, there wouldn’t be children in cages at the border and there wouldn’t be racist language in our politics and there wouldn’t be such a big and ever growing gap between rich and poor.
We are a congregation full of prophets. Together we are a prophetic community—we know what God has done in the past, we know how God has consistently worked through people to end evil, injustice, and oppression—we know now is our time. Now is our time to share God’s dreams for a better world. Thy kingdom come.
We must see on the cross our call to action and our responsibility. We must see on the cross the people who are suffering today, those with whom Christ identifies with today. Can you see who is there today?
I see the migrant children who are separated from their families and I see LGBTQ+ persons who have been marginalized by the church and I see children who are starving to death in Yemen because of war and I see the poor who cannot afford to go and see a doctor, and I see those who are discriminated against because of their race or their gender or their religion and can you see who is on the cross with Christ today?
To say yes to Jesus and yes to His kingdom is to say 'no' to the standard behaviors and standard operating procedures of the kingdoms of this world which means we will stand out a bit. I have been returning to this question again and again as I have been thinking about what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God, from Ginger Gaines Cirelli:
If churches are seeking to live as citizens of God's Kin-dom, then why are so many Christian people barely distinguishable from anyone else in their values and priorities?