It's the day after. Disappointment hangs heavy in the quiet recesses of the city today. Somber faces acknowledge me, hope a fading ember in their eyes. A day of mourning not necessarily for the events of the previous night, but of the state in which we find ourselves.
We are disheartened by the widespread disintegration in shared values and beliefs. We are alarmed. Are we truly now the minority?
Like the tale of the frog in boiling water we have been obliviously content in the busyness of our daily lives. We had not realized that the temperature in our culture has changed. We have been complacent.
My intent here is not to talk politics, point fingers or cast blame.
I do choose to point the magnifying glass inward, and to the church standing with me on the other side of this great moral divide.
My question is quite simple: Are we, the church, failing?
If Jesus is the light of the world, and we as His disciples, imitators of Christ, commissioned to be salt and light to the world, are not shedding that same eye opening, awe inspiring light, then.... are we, the church, failing?
For if there is darkness in the world today, in the form of misunderstanding, ignorance or plain contradiction. And darkness is simply a lack of God and His life giving light, then.......... are we, the church, failing?
Christ is the Word made flesh that dwelt among us. As His discliples, can we say the same? Have we truly taken on the image and likeness of Christ? Are we the walking, talking Word of God?
My first response is to react. I am, I'm sure, a direct descendant of Martha. My instinct is to be "anxious and troubled about many things". In fact I can support my tendency to worry with additional scripture. I mean, doesn't James also tell us that we should "be doers of the word, and not hearers only"?!
Determination wells up in a surge of adrenaline and self-righteousness. This natural introvert becomes convinced that I must use all of my natural will and strength to push back this tide that is changing the face of our beloved nation, threatening to undue, erase, even eradicate all that our founding fathers fought for so desperately.
And yet the word tells me that in Martha's most anxious moment, Jesus told her that only one thing was needful. We must choose the "good portion, and it will not be taken away."
More than ever, we Christians have to lay aside our petty differences, distractions and divisions, and be true disciples, obedient and attentive to the word of God, sitting at the feet of our Father.
That is not to say we should be passive. Salt and light are active. But it is at His feet where we must start.
It is at His feet we are equipped to exalt Christ and evangelize the world. That is the place where we take on the mind of Christ. At His feet is where His Word permeates our minds, hearts and lives so that He can truly become flesh again and again through each of us.
So in the days after this, let the mourning stop. Let us return to the beginning. Rest at the feet of the master, choose the good portion, so that this time, our light shines a little brighter, and the world can see more of Him and less of us.
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord“,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”