More and more, I am realizing that the end game is not being Jesus to the world. It is seeing Jesus in the world. This is kind of a relief, because most of the time, I am mortified at the Jesus we (myself included) are showing off.
In Jesus’ picture of the end of time, He didn’t tell the outsiders that they didn’t represent Him well. He told them they didn’t treat Him well. The prisoners, the poor, the weak, the ill. They are Jesus. When did we become so arrogant that we thought we could emulate everything that was good about the incarnation of God in human skin? And if we could even come close, what part of the New Testament (or Old) makes us think that would involve sitting in line for two hours to buy fried chicken on a greasy white wheat bun?
Right. I lost some of you there. Because I don’t get that it’s about free speech. Or that it’s about supporting someone standing up for your values. Or that it’s about standing against the degradation of our generation. Right.
But think about it for a second. What would happen if all of those people who spent two hours and twenty bucks on a political statement spent it on something immediate and tangible? Twenty bucks to World Vision and two hours asking local businesses to match it. Twenty bucks to take a hurting teen, neighbor, friend out to lunch and two hours to really talk to them. Twenty bucks to buy a kid whose parent just ran out an ice cream and a go kart ride, and two hours to laugh or listen. Twenty bucks and two hours on your own kid. Your own spouse.
Or what if “we” were on the boycotting side? Let me back up on that one, because there have been a million calls for boycotts lately that have gotten quite a stir. JC Penney is directly on the opposite side of Chick Fil A. That’s easy – there’s always Sears. No more Home Depot? How about Lowe’s? But why is no one boycotting Facebook for their support of gay marriage? Oh. Now that would be hard.
Is that why we aren’t taking on more causes? Is the boycott list too long? Or is the passion too muted? It really leads me to wonder why this issue is at the forefront when we are surrounded, metaphorically, by wars, natural disasters, human trafficking, slavery (both actual and effective, and more within our borders than anyone cares to admit), starving children and dying mothers, desperate fathers and broken families. Where is the organized outrage for these issues?
We hear it all the time, especially when heads are shaking and when followed by a quiet “tsk,” the kind that follows a statement you make to someone you know agrees with you – We aren’t any better than Sodom and Gomorrah…
Today, I have to agree.
“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” – Ezekiel 16:49
God, help us be righteous, or help us to run.