“Jesus was not killed by atheism or anarchy. He was brought down by law and order mixed with religion—which is always a deadly mix. Beware of those who claim to know the will of God and are prepared to use force, if necessary, to make others conform. Beware of those who cannot tell the difference between God’s will and their own.”
So said Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor. It is a powerful quote. She is describing the absence of freedom and kindness.
In our church we strive to develop a relationship with our loving God and express that relationship in our loving actions in the world. The key word there, of course, is love. But love, faithful love, discipleship love, has a boldness about it.
As we begin this new program year, we are about fostering a deepening relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We couple that with exploring means by which we as individuals and as a church can be faithful change-agents in this world; all in the name of compassion, justice, peace, and love.
As the saying goes: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” That really is the starting point. We live in a world where divisiveness is the norm and hatred is mainstream. Consequently, simple kindness becomes a revolutionary act. It is an act that, by itself, is life changing and world changing.
This is true because once you adopt a stance of kindness in who you are, you want to see it grow and grow. You want to see it grow to the detention camps at our border. You want to see it grow to include those who are excluded simply because of their skin color. You want to see it grow to see that every homeless, hungry person is fed. You want to see it grow to dry every tear from those who grieve.
Ours is a church of joy. That is our cornerstone because we follow the risen Christ. The positive energy you find here is born of the truth that we belong to a God that has surmounted every obstacle and hardship we can every encounter.
God has given us the gift and the calling to simply and powerfully embody kindness because kindness is the soil from which all goodness and blessings grow.