A reminder that I flat out refuse to write about politics during Holy Week if only as a reminder to myself that there are more important things. After this week, content goes behind the subscriber wall. So click the subscribe button if you haven’t done so.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (ESV)
Holy Week is upon us and I can use a weekend incident where I became the story to deal with this.
Two boys here in Middle Georgia are selling crosses as part of a “faith over fear” campaign. They are selling the crosses for $20.00 and using the proceeds to buy snacks for hospital break rooms. People can’t go to church right now, so we’re putting up the crosses and many people are putting lights on them or shining spotlights on them.
I pulled out the Christmas lights, wrapped the cross up like several of my neighbors had done, and put a picture on Instagram.
Welp. It has become a thing. Trolls on the internet accused me of burning a cross in my own yard. Newsweek sprung into action.
In Mark 5, Jesus is confronted by a possessed man. “What is your name,” Jesus asked the demon possessing the man. “‘‘My name is Legion,’ he replied, ‘for we are many.’” (Mark 5:9). The demons beg Jesus to cast them into a herd of pigs, which he does. The pigs run down the hillside into the water and drown.
What scripture leaves out, because people of the first century would not have understood, is that the demons then got Twitter accounts. That theologically explains social media.
At the time Christians are focused on the resurrection of Christ, the world still hates them. In New York City, activists are outraged at Samaritans Purse building a field hospital. On the internet, pagans are mad because someone prominent has wrapped Christmas lights around an Easter cross to remind people of the light shining in the darkness. They’ll try to shame me because of who I am and they will use that to try to silence others. Me? I’m going to buy extra lights to make the cross shine brighter.
The world continues to spin and nothing has really changed. The world has never liked or understood Christians. It is far easier to impute bad motives to someone than show them grace, because grace is a particular trait of Christianity not shared by other religions.
What is true right now is that Christians need to be the light. We should be way more focused on the resurrection even outside Easter and not just on Sundays and we should be willing to extend grace even when it isn’t returned to us.
Jesus has entered Jerusalem. He will end the week spit upon, beaten, tortured, nailed to a cross, and killed. He’ll be blessing people all the way to Golgotha.
Christian, to whom will you be a blessing this week? God has given you gifts. Ignore the angry world. Show grace.