I AM A NATION
AND SO ARE YOU
The Hour is upon us now.
Whatever vision you have for serving the calling is no longer able to be planned out and perfected. Today is launch day. The Kingdom is at hand.
In the middle of what feels like a clichéd vision of a nation’s downfall – a pandemic, economic shutdowns, racial strife, mass unemployment, burning cities, political rage – the rift between us feels insurmountable.
Maybe it is.
Maybe the promise of unity has always been an illusion.
Are we allowed to say that? Didn’t Jesus say something similar in Matthew 24?
“6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains."
Consider these days as birth pains. New life will be born out of suffering.
I’m not an end-of-days kind of guy. Jesus made this statement 2,000 years ago, so obviously God is not bound by our expectations of how time moves. But I do know what we have been tasked with in the meantime is ministry. A few verses later, Jesus says, “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations.”
Today, in our nation, lines have been drawn in the sand and bunkers have been built.
The follower of Christ must cross those lines, back and forth, back and forth, not to take sides but to speak a word into the void. We operate outside of the dichotomy in order to call forth remembrance. We must reject the spoils of war that will soon dissolve. We must reject the desire to claw our way to the top of a hill that won’t be there tomorrow. Christ was bound by the Hour and so are we. We are called to build a kingdom that is to come rather than fixing one that is broken and being broken still.
This work is not meant to be passive or rewarding. There is no such thing as a gentle confrontation with chaos. You choose to go to war, and you go to war.
We’ve all seen the videos and images. We’ve all recognized the endless and pervasive lies. Evil is afoot in our world and always has been. I have never felt so much rage as I have in the last few months while witnessing what feels like a society in decay. The root of my rage is fear, and fear is a form of amnesia. But joy means knowing how the story ends. I have to remind myself where I came from and where I am going.
And that, I believe, is where my own ministry must start.
I don’t believe we are facing a multitude of issues. I believe we are facing a singular issue that goes by many names. We have forgotten where we came from. We have forgotten that every individual carries the spark of the Maker – it is His image we all bear. Even those we hate, and even those who give us sufficient reasons to hate them. They too are the intentional creation of a good Creator. Our long-suffering Savior opens His hand to all, and so must I.
We will not overcome these issues through politics or policy. There is only one way, and that is living in remembrance and declaration of our foundational worth and the worth of others. Life is only valuable because we carry the image and the Word in our veins. Life is infinitely valuable because we carry the image and the Word in our veins.
I am a nation and so are you. Let us build with power, love, discipline.
- Craig Cunningham