The article to follow will be printed in the March edition of our synod’s Coulee Courier. That’s how I get it to the greatest number of members in our synod. However, some of you may find this helpful now. [As always, feel free to share, I consider this a public site.]
JESUS SAID, “FOLLOW ME.”
I am a Christian. The word defines me as a follower of Jesus. I seek to follow Jesus. I think it is fair for me to assume the same of our members who define themselves as Christians in the Lutheran tradition. We seek to follow Jesus. Isn’t it true? We seek to follow Jesus.
I am writing this message just a week and a half after the new administration was sworn in on Inauguration Day. I’d like to say my concern in this message will be over by the time you read this. But I doubt it. Followers of Jesus are having a hard time speaking and acting for Jesus right now. We are accused of being partisan. Granted the ways we seek to reach out to do good in this country – in this world – may differ from party to party, philosophy to philosophy, ideology to ideology. But we as Christians have got to agree that we want a better, more faithful, more loving world. We seek to follow the One of Goodness, the Center of our Faith, the Lord of Love. We have got to agree to seek the way of Jesus.
Jesus wants the hungry to be fed. Jesus wants the homeless to be sheltered. Jesus wants the poor to be lifted up from poverty. Jesus wants poverty to be eradicated. While the ways to accomplish this must be discussed, the truth about Jesus’ will is what it is. It is not Democratic. It is not Republican. It is not anarchist. It is not libertarian. It is not utopian. It is Christian.
Jesus wants the stranger welcomed. Jesus wants the sojourner treated as one of our own. We may vary in preferences for vetting and documentation. But followers of Jesus follow Christ’s direction to be including.
Jesus calls us to community. Jesus calls us to pool our resources and do the best for each other. Jesus directs us to share and care over amassing wealth for the sake of being wealthy. We may disagree on the best ways to be together and the most efficient ways to share, but we must share. That’s how we follow Jesus.
You have called me to be faithful to the Gospel. You have called me to remind you of what it means to be us. You have called me to proclaim Jesus’ call to the world. I seek to follow this Jesus. That’s what Christians do.