Ponderings for January 3, 2019

Welcome, 2019! May you be bringing us a season of light and even some cultural sanity. We need that in a big way!
In reading ahead for future messages, I was in the book of Ruth (great little story on covenant and love that we’ll examine in the fall). Anyway, it took place “in the time of the judges,” when “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?
And so, as I look at our political and social landscape strewn with confusion and hostility, I believe that, as Christ-followers, we cannot adopt a self-absorbed and insulated expression of our faith. If the church is to be a light in this world (look at our “The Starry Night” painting in the entryway again and at the top of these Ponderings), we have to creatively engage our society, seeking its good—practicing the peace of Christ and living out the truth of his Word. It is here that we will demonstrate that faith in Christ provides the reference point and ultimate meaning to life.
Politically, as our country and its leaders grow ever more polarized and hostile, we cannot blindly join the fray. I believe Christ calls us to wisdom through non-partisan prayer and unparalleled integrity. The intentionality of our words and lives must mimic the timelessness of Christ’s example, not just some trendy political opinion or position.
Socially, all restraint has been abandoned. The gift of sex and intimacy has been forsaken and redefined. Covenantal love and marital vows have been replaced with porn and sex. We are creating new identities and are playing God with our sexual choices. Here, too, we must pray and read and be smart as we speak into this social confusion.
I leave you with the words of a Paul much wiser and more mature than I: Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain (Philippians 2:14–16).
I’ll see you on the other side.
Pastor Paul