There are so many in my life I can say have been there as mentors to help shepherd me on to this calling of Word and Sacrament ministry. My grandparents became foundational to me. My dad handed to me the grace I often found missing in the church and in life. Martin Luther opened up for me the truth of Christ as the One who has embraced my sin in all its ugliness and handed me his righteousness like an ice cream cone to a 2 year old. Jim Nestingen, Steve Paulson, and David Fredrickson, in one way shape or form have formed me as a theologian that I may hand to my people the truth of the cross and its work for the sake of your justification. But Eugene Peterson in "The Contemplative Pastor" and "The Pastor" truly opened my mind to the work of a pastor. Living and dwelling in the Word and the work that entails in order that my teaching may be one of shepherding for sinners.
We live in a world of words. A world that seems to think words, saying things, especially quickly, are more important than life itself. Words that we must use to support or condemn. Words which we must use to draw our line in the sand. Words becoming the description of someone instead of actually knowing someone, seeing them for who they are, and acknowledging that we know no one better than we know ourselves.
We are a nation in denial. A nation walking amongst the world created for us by the media, by the news, by Twitter and Facebook. We are a nation so delusional that we see certain actions and feel they are the same everywhere. We are told what we are to believe about someone, as though we are back in high school hearing the latest gossip and take it to be gospel, never imagining that adulating involves actually confronting someone and finding out exactly what is going on.
With the outpouring of emotion and anger over the vile "rally" in Charlottesville this past week, one is expected to just assume that all white people are racist, Trump is the second coming of Hitler, and the best way to fight is to resist violently if necessary. All of this is absurd. Not all people of deficient skin pigment are Nazis, Trump is hardly Hitler, and if violent resistance is the preferred answer to the problems you see, have you not ever been taught not to hit back? Have you not seen the escalation of violence of the drug war, gang violence, bullying?
What we are saying says a lot about us. It also says a lot about what we think of others, where we think our judgements lie, and what we expect of our future because of what we believe it will be.
If you scour the internet right now, it won't take but a moment and I will wait here until you come back, just google "Trump" and see what pops up. Most of it will be the doom-and-gloom that we have become accustomed to in our daily media. We are told many things about him. Things that are both true and things that are false. Things that make us believe that we are witnessing the second coming of the anti-Christ, the fulfillment of Revelation 13, or the complete denial of all goodness, grace, or humanity.
We are all liars. Every single one of us. We praise tolerance. We talk about how we want to spread love, hope and peace. We proclaim ourselves to be part of some new world order that will bring harmony to the world. And yet we say…
Mike Pence can s#&^ my c@%&!
The GOP is going to destroy the world.
I hope they all fail.
We need to boycott everything!
The arrival of Trump as president, and his inauguration, shall be the saddest day in our country’s history.