Tag Archives: black lives matter

The Same Love

We played this song for our worship set at church a few weeks back. I liked it well enough when I first heard it–sounded kind of like U2 (and the chord progression blends right into With or Without You).

But the words emphasize the universal aspects of the Christian faith, the stuff that reinforces what’s common to all of us. It speaks to the widespread nature of God’s love, the human condition common to us all, and the far-reaching call, with a central focus on the cross of Christ.

As I back off a bunch of political debates and frustrating arguments with fellow believers and non-Christians alike, I’m reminded of what’s important to me.

In this place at the foot of the cross, the same Love calls out to all of us, wherever we are.

The same love that calls to the poor and says, “I will be your treasure” is the one that calls to the rich, points to the poor, and says, “Treasure what I treasure.”

The same love that calls to the weak and says, “I will be your strength” calls out to the strong, points to the weak, and says, “Be my hands to lift their burden; be my arms to defend them.”

The same love that calls to the outcast and marginalized and says, “You are welcome here forever and always” is the love that says to the popular and the in-crowd, “Treat them how you’d like to be treated. Go out into the furthest reaches and love them as I have loved you.”

The same love that died for all lives and declared that all lives matter must point our attention to injustice and oppression in the world wherever it is found, calling out that those particular lives in danger matter right now.

The same love that paid the price for all sin and paved a way for all sinners is the one calling us to drop our pretenses and hypocritical standards, fling wide the gates, and let whosoever will come.

Because most often, out there among them is where you will find Him.

Voices Worth Hearing

A couple things crossed my social media feed and challenged / moved me in the last few days. And I’m not just talking spoiler-laden clips of Game of Thrones’ season finale. (But holy cow did they fit a lot into that episode!)

1. With regard to the Brexit vote, before it happened, here’s a powerful and masterful example of persuasive public speech.

I know a lot of people opposed Britain leaving the EU, arguably for some good reasons. What I hate is the idea some spread or implied which said that every “Leave” supporter is some xenophobic, racist, greedy, hateful miser only out for themselves. Several million people voted for this (what was it, 19M+ if memory serves). Are we really supposed to believe that the vast majority of them are motivated politically by hatred and fear? Take a listen and enjoy a well-stated perspective, even if you don’t agree.

2. After the tragic and horrific shooting in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, my wall exploded with different views on what should be addressed, what could have been done, what the real¬†problems in America are, and so on. Accusations of Islamophobia¬†(and maybe some actual Islamophobia) all peppered the mix. As if it’s so simple as suggesting adopting “if we just had a stricter law about guns” or “if the President would have called it radical Islam” or some other myopic opinion masquerading as a solution.

In the midst of all that, I found this OpEd on CNN: Well-stated views about what Muslims in America could do about the current state they’re in. On the one hand, I don’t like the idea that an entire, complex group of people is painted with the same shade, with one massive brush. But the writer seems to pragmatically state, “Well here we are, what can we do about it?”

3. Another piece of very persuasive and energetic public speech appeared on my feed today. I don’t know who Jesse Williams is, but he issues a challenge to all those with something to say about Black Lives Matter and about how African-Americans should deal with racial tensions. Those of us who aren’t forced by daily experience to consider all the ramifications and consequences of something as basic as skin tone might do well to listen with an open mind. We might not see it how Mr. Williams sees it. We might not agree with his conclusions. But there is a wide swath of America that does¬†see it that way–a large percentage of Americans for whom Mr. Williams’ comments are spot on, addressing their day-to-day reality. If we’re willing to understand, we can’t assume we’ve got the whole picture on something so complex as race.

If you’re only going to watch one of these, I suggest the third option. Click the image below for a link to the speech.

Jesse Williams
Jesse Williams