Never Surrender

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“But my feet were almost stumbling; my steps had nearly slipped, because I was jealous of the boasters and begrudged the wealth of the wicked.”

Psalm 73: 2-3

“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?”

Jeremiah 12: 1

There is a movie I love and can watch over and over again. It is the 1999 movie Galaxy Quest. There is a line in the movie that sticks with me, “Never surrender, never give up.” After the strange and confusing verdict that the senate handed down in regard to the actions of the former president, even knowing ahead of time what the outcome was going to be, I was disappointed. I was like Jeremiah asking, why do the wicked get away with evil? Why was a guilty verdict not something that led to conviction? Why was the former president left free to stir up more hatred and violence? Why?

There are many ways to answer that question, but I would rather focus differently. I prefer to focus on this: When evil has its day, what are we to do? The temptation is to throw up our hands and say, “What’s the use?” The temptation is to believe that hatred and violence are here to stay and there is nothing we can do about it.

But this is not true. Our country has come a long way from its violent beginnings. We are moving in the right direction toward a more perfect union. While the violent will continue to try to take the country backwards by force, the resistance to going back is growing. The very fact that the former president was determined to be guilty, even while not convicted, is promising. The exodus of people from his party, the struggle within that party of those who remain, and the light shining on the problems of hatred and violence are reasons to hope. There is hope that both political parties will examine the way they use violent language and determine to change. Like me, many were sickened by the use of the word “fight” so many times in political speeches.

As Christians we owe neither party our allegiance. Our allegiance is only to the Beloved Community of God and within the Beloved Community there is no room for nationalism, racism, sexism, or any other ism that divides us from the love we owe to one another. If we are to be the friends and followers of Christ there is one law that binds us, “Love one another as I have loved you.” God cares deeply about how we treat one another. The whole of the law is based on this fact.

We live in this country, so this is our field of ministry. It is here we work with those who are moving this country toward the principles of the kingdom of God. It is not important whether or not the party or person we support is Christian or has no faith at all, if they are moving our country toward the ways of God. We need to get behind the party or person that makes the ways of God possible, that moves us toward justice, peace, and kindness.

We measure who we support by the principles of God and cannot get too attached to any one political party or person, as political parties can change what they stand for. We know who to support by the fruit we harvest from what they do. Does the party or person deliver harmony or hatred? Do they bring us closer to the Beloved Community of God, or move us away? Are they bringing us to the day when no one will have too little, and no one will have too much? Are they creating equality or increasing inequality? It is not hard to discern the difference in results from their policies.

We stand for justice, peace, compassion, generosity, mercy, equality of persons, kindness, and self-control, all wrapped up in our choice to love in the way Christ has taught us to love. For love is a choice we make as Christians, even when it is hard.

The antithesis of all that God desires for creation is the hatred and violence displayed on January 6th and that has infected many in our country. If you are looking for the “Anti-Christ” look no further than those who espouse such doctrines. There is a spirit loose in our country that spouts lies, stirs up hatred, encourages violence, and desires to split us into warring factions. We must never surrender, never give up in resisting this spirit. In the end we know that God will overcome the spirit of wickedness. Let’s us be on God’s side, for after all and in the end, that is the winning side.

My beloved ones in Christ, let us sing with Psalm 73: 28, “As for me, my joy lies in being close to God. I have taken shelter in you, continually to proclaim what you have done,”

Bishop Kedda

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