I don't know if you've noticed lately, but there
is a bit of a revolution going on in the world of Believers who
are not satisfied with what is being done today in the name of
Christianity. It's a simmering stew of folks from all walks of life who
are looking at this whole thing a little differently. And when I say
simmering, I don't mean as about to boil into an angry mob, I mean
simmering as in slow-cooking, great smells in the air all day, ready
for a feast when it's ready-type simmering. It's a Love Stew and it's
on the menu in cities big and small all over the country; a menu that
does not say "we reserve the right to refuse service to everyone."
Actually living the life of the Jesus we claim to follow is the main
course and knowing we are walking His way is the dessert.
back in the late 60's, I was part of an amazing thing that moved across
America. Hippies found Jesus and suddenly The Way of the Master was a
cool thing and the Jesus Movement somehow made its way into even my
little Southern Baptist church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I was about
14-ish when I heard my first message by a groovy guy with hair long
enough to give Moses a run for his manna...and being a girl who never
in her life had the word cool attached to a sentence with her name in
it...well I was hooked. Here was a way....One Way...as we groovy people
called it...to love me some Jesus and be accepted all in one fell
But a revolution, as this surely was, by
definition means turning the people around to a whole new way of life
and leaving the old behind. The Jesus Movement didn't go over so well
with the old guard who wanted things to stay the same. We had a new
American Revolution on the march....one that took the words of Jesus
seriously. ("The Red Letters are coming! The Red Letters are
coming!") Some didn't like these young up-starts telling them how to
love their neighbor. They knew perfectly well how to do that...as long
as neighbor was defined as someone who looked like you, talked like you
and didn't rock the boat you had built. They were not so big on
melding a family out of just any old material. The Anointed Groovy Ones
tried to show them a different way....a way of accepting all peoples
and reaching out to the least of these...not just bringing things to
the poor every Christmas, but asking the poor to join them every day of
the year. The Elders (those Non-Melders) didn't want those words
pointed out to them...at all. They stuck to their preferred passages
and ignored the ones about loving your neighbor and giving your coat to
the cold. I think they were just a little more comfy with a God who was
angry and cast people out...their kind of guy.
it happening again....this 21st century version of the Jesus
Movement...complete with Jesus Freaks and enough Love to sink an
Ark...and enough anger coming back at us to remind us that this Walk is
not an easy one. That the anger is coming from fellow Christians is not
surprising...disappointing...but not surprising. Guess it's hard to
accept folks whose sin looks different from your sin.
I am old enough now to dig this
new revolution in a way I couldn't at 14. This time I get the
love-thing in a way that you can only get when you have spent your life
looking out for you....selfish...self-absorbed...me with a capital
M...like I have done.
Suddenly there is an answer to the dreariness that long ago took over
your interior weather patterns because YOU have been the only cloud in
the sky. Love 'em like Jesus. That's what's in my forecast...and it
doesn't even have to be hard! Just set out everyday to be kind to those
who cross your path. To help someone when you have the means to help
them. You can join us in our work on the Pine Ridge Reservation
or you can serve up the meal of love and and caring right in your own
neighborhood. Do for one person what you wish you could do for everyone
and we could put an end to what so many fear....taking care of the
poor. That would be the war on poverty...and it would be won in the trenches of compassion.
books like "Crazy Love", "Under the Overpass,"
Radical" and "Irresistible Revolution" are bestsellers...then I'm
feelin' the winds of change and I'm praying for a big ol' storm. When
you see it coming....don't run for the basement. Stand on the roof and
say "Here! Over Here!" I for one am truly welcoming this revolution
that is sick and tired of things being done in the name of Jesus that
don't have anything to do with the life He gave us as an example. Love.
He was all about the love. Mercy. Justice. Walk humbly with your God.
I won't get it right all the time...but I will be doing something that matters with the days I have left.