It’s good to have more “proper” Sabbath Monday. But this morning is are bitter sweet mix of grief and grace.
Grief because it’s painful to see the Church as a whole being dragged into the public square for the wrong reasons or even misunderstood reasons.
Grief because after so many years being a Christian and subsequently as a pastor, these cycles of where the witness of the church is affected returns like another wave.
And yet, even with the little we’d know from at least 2000 years of church history – this is nothing new. And if we go further through the New testament and Old Testament, the people of God and the early church had to wrestle with similar challenges in different clothing.
I know the media enough to spot a spin or a unverified hint. And in the light of last week’s experience one for a respected leader of a denomination, another for a charismatic mega church pastor, one needs to pause and get the facts right before jumping into 101 defenses or accusations. Having said that, regardless of what are our views, it’s not easy if we seriously want to be a voice in the public square.
Some have their stones ready to machine gun, others would be busy trying to dig out the specks in other people’s eyes and most of us would be distracted from the logs in our own eyes.
I don’t think we are called to shy away from the hard questions thrown at us. I’ve been working through a “pastoral and prophetic” paradigm to reframe and articulate a working proposal on how I theologize, work through my ethical options, and discern appropriate responses in a given situation. It’s always easier when we apply it on “other” people than “ourselves”.
The reactions of those who are not at the centre of attention needs to be reevaluated too. Very often, the issues and reactions surrounding an event is in need of attention as much as the original trigger itself. This is where things get muddy and messy. This is why we prefer quick black and white answers, an authoritative voice to settle our disputes, and/or an escape route to hide from the evils of this world. But looks like for most of us, we’re here to stay.
On Sunday, even when I was translating for our guest speakers, I was drawn to the interconnectedness of the personal and the public, the individual and the corporate, the hidden and the open, and a whole range of issues beyond the original topic. 🙂 I guess, the moment our eyes are open and willing to spot raw material for reflection, we can never be the same. At least, I have never been the same since.
Elysia has finished her movie. And I’m trying to let my “soul” catch up with my “body”. It’s getting there. Breath slowly. I’m living in grace and await the movement of grace.