Have you noticed it?

 

Have you noticed all of the head shaking and the “tsk, tsk,” clicking going on these days?

 

These visible signs of dismay accompany conversations about the unfortunate divisions that separate neighbors, families, communities, government, faiths and country these days.  There’s plenty of name calling, shouting, bullying and even violence being expressed in the public square, on social media platforms, through advertising that we see on television, and it’s not a good thing at all.

 

I believe all of this is born of the Evil One because these words, this behavior flies in the face of Jesus’ faith-foundational command to love God with heart and mind, soul and strength, and our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.

 

I don’t know about you, but my heart just hurts from all of the arguing and name-calling—the threats that we utter to the “other” among us—the immigrant, the poor, the orphan, the homeless and powerless.  The way we demonize our brothers and sisters who do not look like us, or look at the world in the same way we do—the posts we put up on social media accounts are vile as we spew horrible words of hate that are seen world-wide—is just heartbreaking.

 

Instead of trying to understand one another, we pass judgment against those we disagree with—judgements which we have no right to level.  After all, we’re sinners just like every other person on the planet and are, as a result, reliant on God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice for redemption, too.  This judgment that we pass on others, only leads to more heartache and hatred.  And that hatred’s become so intense that, of late, people have been murdered at yoga class, the grocery store, even in synagogues where people gather to worship the God and Father of us all.

 

When will we stop this, because we must stop this?  When will we embrace the truth expressed in a Facebook posting by a friend, that said, “You will never look into the eyes of someone God does not love.  Always be kind.”

 

My prayer is that we all can get back to Christian basics, and, relying on the Holy Spirit, act on the commandment to love neighbor as much as self.  May we remember and follow the example of love set forth by Christ–who was and is and always will be Love incarnate—and express selfless and generous love to one another just as he did.

 

 

                                                                                                            Pastor Sharon