I am scared.
I’m scared of what is going on in the world. More specifically, what is happening with our neighbours to the south and how it is beginning to shape the ethos of the rest of the world.
I’m scared of the privilege some people enjoy but don’t (or won’t) recognise they have. More specifically, the very small percentage of the world’s population that can basically get away with anything.
I’m scared for those who fall outside of that small scope of privilege. More specifically, all people of colour, women, the poor or those who don’t own their own home, the outcast, marginalized, basically close to everyone I know.
I am scared. And I don’t know what kind of future I am leaving for my kids, who are ethnic, 1/3 of them are female, looks like they will grow up with humble means, and are children of a religious leader. They will grow up facing racism, sexism, and will be classified by others who just have to look at them.
Lord, have mercy.
We might like to look at these texts and think, “the privileged will get theirs” and clap metaphorical dust off our hands with a smug satisfaction. Or we might think “our justice will come soon; as we the last, will be first.” Or, we might just look at the condition of the world and in light of these texts we just exclaim, “Lord, have mercy.”
Whatever our initial reaction or what we hope God will do to smite those who we don’t like or don’t agree with or don’t deserve what they have, we can rest assured that God is present with us in our times of need. God is with us in our confusion in these uncertain times. God is with us in our anger, in our indignation, in our despair for a shred of good in the world.
This doesn’t mean that we will get what we want always. This doesn’t mean that justice will come as we see fit. This doesn’t mean that evil will be eradicated from the world.
But it does mean that we aren’t alone. It means that there is good in the world. It means that we can have hope.
For Jesus said it’s hard for the rich to enter the kingdom, but he didn’t say that the rich cannot enter. Rather, it is by the grace of God that we can be loved, we can be restored into wholeness, and that we can be heard and listened to. It is because of the love of God that we can rely on our communities for relationship and support, we can confidently reach out to other and offer help, and we can lean on and trust in God’s strength. And it is in the kingdom of God that we can find forgiveness for our own lack of recognition of our own faults, we can find wholeness in humility and restoration in repentance, and we can find hope in the promise that the peace that surpasses all understanding is within our grasp.
Yes, we cry out to God for mercy, and we know that this generation is in desperate need of it.
And it is with confidence that I can declare God is showing us mercy. God is granting us peace. God is the source of our hope.
Peace be with you all this week and always.