Joe Kay is the associate minister at Nexus United Church of Christ, Butler County, Ohio. He also writes a weekly blog at https://joekay617.wordpress.com. His email address is listed on the blog, in case you care to contact him directly.
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On the Eighth Day...
Divine creativity is one of the things we share with our creator. It is woven into our DNA. We’re active participants in the continuing story of creation whether we like it or not.
Maundy Thursday: Service Isn’t a Choice
In God’s kingdom, everyone serves and everyone is served equally, no exceptions. Even the betrayer. Even the denier. Even the abandoner. Even the person who lives differently and believes differently. Even the person we simply can’t stand. Even the ones we consider unworthy.
Trying to Make Hate Look Pretty
Love recognizes that everyone is an equally beloved child of God and must be treated as such by our words and actions. Love values everyone’s dignity and worth as equal to my own. By contrast, hate rejects another person’s equal value and worth. It sees those who are different from me as less than me in some ways. It creates the conditions for people to be abused and mistreated.
Christians Can't Sit This One Out
Of course, God’s values weren’t popular with many people then. Or now. So many people today say that love and compassion and equality should be excluded from most areas of our lives. They advocate far different values: privilege, exclusion, discrimination, wealth, power, violence, domination.
Jesus challenged all of it. And if we’re to follow his way, we must do the same.
Resistance in a Manger
This sight of poor refugee parents and a humbly born baby surrounded by dirty shepherds and visitors from other religions and races and cultures should jolt us. It’s meant to. The manger shows us a world far different than our own, one that we’re being summoned to create with unconditional love and inclusion.
The Silence on the Bus
When we come across bullies and predators in our world, we can respond with revulsion, or with silence. Bullies and predators want to have cheerleaders around them, encouraging their awful words and deeds. If we won’t applaud them, bullies and predators want us to at least abstain from criticizing them.
That’s why we’ve seen such a pushback against so-called “political correctness” by hate groups.
Love Is Risky. But Fear Is Worse.
To be led by the spirit of a loving God means that when we see fear and pain and need around us, we head toward it. That’s the job description. Look it up.
3 Things to Remember About Working for Peace
Injustice is at the root of our problems as humans. When people aren’t being treated as equally beloved children of God and are denied equal opportunities for the things we all want, then division and anger grow. If we want peace, we have to be want justice. To be a peacemaker means to challenge the injustices.
Seeing Our Shared Humanity in an Olympic Village Laundromat
It’s good to remind ourselves of this underlying truth of our human family. We hear so many fearful voices in our world nowadays saying we can’t trust those who are different from us. They insist that we can’t let people from other countries get close to us because we don’t know who they are. Instead, they want to build walls and patrol borders and practice exclusion.
America Has Never Been One. But It Has Been United.
At times like this, it’s good to remember that our founders valued our vast differences and set up a big government of checks and balances that would force us to compromise and cooperate. Government fails — and we fail as a nation — when people go to Washington and statehouses insistant on getting their way, without compromise.
That attitude is an un-American attitude. It goes against the heart of what makes us who we are. It makes us unravel.
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