We have lost our way

I have been writing about self-compassion in this new year and I will continue to do so.

But not today.

Today I am compelled, after the events of this past week, to stop and acknowledge our current reality.

We have lost our way.

We have turned on each other.

We have turned on ourselves.

And those who claim to follow Jesus - in ways large and small - have turned on Jesus.

Jesus is not about rage.

Jesus is not about hatred or fomenting hatred, in any form.

Jesus is not about violence or threats of violence.

Jesus is not about lies.

Jesus is not about destruction or desecration or diabolocal plans to harm others.

Jesus is neither Republican nor Democrat.

Jesus is not "with" one political party or another.

The church is not to be aligned with any political party. And when the church forgets that the church loses her way.

Jesus is about peace.

Jesus is about love. And most pointedly, love for enemies.

Jesus is about truth and reality and honesty.

Jesus is about justice and integrity.

Jesus is about resurrection and reconstruction and human flourishing.

Jesus is about the orphan, the fatherless, the widow and the stranger.

Jesus is about God's good kingdom -

A kingdom defined by what the apostle Paul called the fruit of the Spirit:

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Goodness

Self-control.

These are the marks we watch for as signs of God's presence and power. There are no other marks.

Some of my dearest friends have declared this weekend a weekend of kindness.

Because they feel so powerless against the negative forces that are wreaking havoc at the governmental level they are taking the most powerful counter-action they know to take.

Acts of pure kindness carried out with deep love and intention.

The great subversive power of love, kindness and mercy cannot be stopped.

We have lost our way, this is true.

The One many called "the way" can lead us back.

But only if we follow him ... and live in his ways.

Amen.