I am sort of weary. Watching the events unfold in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend made me so sad, again. It’s not a sadness born out of a certain political view. As your pastor, I’m firmly committed to not convoluting the gospel with political opinion.
Racial hatred transcends politics. Racism’s destruction is in the core of the gospel (read Galatians and Ephesians). Throughout my lifetime I’ve seen so much racial hate. I was a child when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. It is a terribly vivid memory. I’ve watched so much racial hatred in our culture acted out over and over. And I hate it.
Every time a terrible act like this happens, I want to think “this incident will be the wake-up call our culture needs and everyone will come to their senses and things will get better.”
Yet, things aren’t better.
Advocacy is good. It is right to clearly call the white supremacy movement evil. Speaking out against any form of bigotry and racism is simply right and good. And I believe there is an even greater good -- I believe that our best chance for washing away every form of hatred is the love found in the gospel. This is not a platitude. I’m describing a radical love poured out of the One who is Love. The gospel is the source of a kind of love that is willing to die for another.
The gospel is that God so loved us that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die a death that actually transforms our hearts. The answer is God’s love poured out upon us, and that same love lived out radically through us towards everyone.
The gospel offers me the ultimate truth that there is nothing about me that makes me superior to any other soul. You and I have been created in the image of God -- and so has every other soul on this planet. And we are called to deeply love the image of God in each one of them no matter what.
I am sort of weary, but it’s passing. Because the gospel promises a supernatural kind of love produced in me; because the gospel tells me that love cannot fail; because the gospel guarantees that love will outlast and ultimately swallow up hate.
"But now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” - 1 Corinthians 13:13