Preparing for the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany - January 23rd
As a pastor you often find yourself in a weird place. Stuck between these two roles of being a pastor, and being you. This isn't another post on how mean the world is to pastors, or how the pastor has it hard. No. This is about the reality that this pastor faces the truth of how one's personality can often cause struggles with the way one should be as a pastor.
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?
O Lord, how my enemies have grown!
So many are rising up against me.
Yes Lord. My sin has grown. My life passes me by. The days mount up and I see death at the coming. It is inevitable. It stares me in the face and frightens me to the point of trembling.
Many are saying of my soul,
“God will not save him.”
What’s worse, My God, is that I have no one to speak to me of Your grace, Your mercy, Your deliverance. All around me is vain labor. All around me is pious glory. All around me is this trudging towards some peak, some mountaintop, that seems to ever grow. That climbs to the sky, and I hate heights.