While division is not new, this year feels different. Both parties paint pictures of a dystopian future if the “enemy” wins. Historians like Kristen Kobes Du Mez and Jemar Tisby remind us that while the volume has been turned up, the beats are still the same. Othering, fear mongering, and name calling are not new ingredients in a presidential election.
The future in every arena of life is murkier than ever. For the church, though, the coronavirus is providing clarity.
I found out this week that Jean Vanier was guilty of sexual assault over the span of several decades. If the soft-spoken Frenchman who dedicated his life to the disabled is disgraced, to whom can I aspire?
Every New Year’s I go through the same thing. I fail to come up with a good resolution. I scroll through everyone else’s resolutions and read articles about all of the goals I could be setting. I subconsciously add each person’s resolution to a list that lives in my head.
Honestly, Joy seems like too much to ask for right now. It is the most difficult of the Advent virtues: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. It feels like an unlikely indulgence for the privileged, unconscionable in light of today’s news.
This is how it often feels to work for an institution like the church in 2019. Trends so much larger than myself make my prayers and pastoral work feel meaningless. I’ve been feeling this way about my denomination, the RCA, recently. Each week in our church, we say some version of this refrain: When the person of Jesus Christ is at the center of our lives and our worship, there is space for loving one another in disagreement.