As we continue to move into a different political reality in the United States, the church finds itself in shifting theological territory. Change is not something that the church, a giant multifaceted institution, handles very well. One good thing about change of any kind, though: it helps us reassess our values.
In the few chapters we call the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches about the church’s values. Here’s a clip:
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. [from Matthew 5]
Individuals and faith communities are searching out where to go from here. Jesus’ wisdom? Be the light.
How are we the light? Depends on whom you ask, doesn’t it? But when we are the light, says Jesus, others will notice. No matter how we vote or what our political affiliation, we are still the light.
- We do what we know is right. We follow Jesus.
- We remember that truth is our currency. We speak, share, and write the truth. Once we shrink from telling the truth, what do we have?
- We honor those who are most vulnerable: the poor, the sick, the very young and very old, those with disabilities.
- We welcome the immigrant, the refugee, and the stranger as if we were welcoming Jesus himself.
- We work for fairness and justice. We lift up people of all races, nationalities, religions, people of different genders.
- We live in hope.
- We are always listening, always aware that we may be wrong, always looking for the best in those with whom we disagree.
- We say—not just to those like us, but especially to those different from us—“we have your back.”
This is what Jesus did. This is what Jesus taught.
The world is watching us.
Be the church. Be the light.
© 2017 Melissa Bane Sevier