Sometimes, you don't really want to write a blog post, but it's writing itself in your head and you have to. So. This is one of those.
It's three days before Christmas. We're watching Elf. I think I can honestly say we've done a fair job of focusing on Christ and giving to those around us this season. There's always more than can be done.... I've had a lot of travel, but we've kept up with the girls choosing an act of kindness to do almost every day, and we've been blessed yet again by our advent devotionals each night. This post may seem like I'm not focused on the real reason for this precious season. Or maybe it will seem like I am. You be the judge.
I can barely bring myself to even type "Duck Dynasty" because (and no offense is intended), I'm already sick to death of all of the blog posts related to this subject in my feed. And, to be clear, I've read some of them and they're really good. But still - the obsession with it in general seems so over the top. How is it that I find myself joining in? See the opening paragraph. That's how.
And I don't really even want to talk about that. However, if you're curious on my opinion it, not surprisingly, aligns very well with Jen Hatmaker's post on the topic which can be found right here.
On one hand, I admire many of my Facebook friends (on both sides of the coin, mind you) for being bold and sharing their views. However, I also think we forget who all may be reading these posts. Could a teenager struggling with the rejection that comes from being gay be reading the post? Could it feel like even more rejection? Is that the message of Christ?
Our home is 2.9 miles from Arapahoe High School. 2.9 miles. I know no one involved, but I know people that know both the shooter's family as well as the family of the sweet girl that passed away this week. Heartbreaking. Also heartbreaking is what the mother of the shooter must be feeling. Could we cast blame? Assume she didn't parent him "well enough" if he was capable of such destruction? Start bringing up the gun control debate? We could. But come on.... Of course we shouldn't. Did one of us miss a chance to love on that young man? Maybe. Dear God, give us ears to hear.....
There's so much talk on these subjects, and I really do wonder if God is just shaking his head at us. I think we've forgotten when we talk about our ideals that we're talking about people. People that God loves violently, overwhelmingly, jealously, whole-heartedly. How can we forget that we're talking about people?
Let me at this point reference two of the other posts I've read that have aided in shaping my thinking. My ideas are building off of theirs, so I want to give them credit and encourage you to read them both. The first is this one written by a self-described celibate gay Christian. The other is this one written by a youth pastor whose claim is that what you believe about homosexuality is not the point.
I think each of us has a responsibility, as Christians, to study the Bible and have opinions on what following Jesus looks like. We should all be striving to follow him to the best of our abilities. We're all free to decide whether we think homosexuality is wrong or not, whether we women need to cover our heads and whether violence is ever warranted or not. In almost no case, though, is it necessary or positive to be sharing those conclusions in broad public settings. So often, we're unintentionally letting the world see our ugliness when we forget about people. It seems to me that the main goal of following Jesus is loving others. Not discussing our theological differences on Facebook. Let's be about the things that unify us.
My prayer for us this Christmas Eve Eve Eve is this: Dear God, please oh please let us not hurt one of your precious creations by our beliefs but instead overwhelm them with your love. Let us leave any convicting that needs to be done in your powerfully capable hands. Most of all, teach us to love. Teach us to love well.