The division in our nation is national news. As we gather in the comfort of pews in the coming months, some joyfully breathe a sigh of relief and some fear for what’s ahead. We continue to hear our world in terms of us and them. What is next for our nation?
As people of God, will we model the ministry of Christ and intentionally cross human boundaries in our relationships with others as we head into a new year, a new presidency, and a new time? Are we leading the way towards embracing “the other” and seeking Christ centered solutions to the divisions in the world?
Last week, many churches heard the story of Zacchaeus, the man who climbed a tree so he could see Jesus. Maybe he thought it was a simple solution to look over the crowd. Maybe it wasn’t that easy and he needed others to help him or did he reach up to catch a low hanging limb to pull himself up? Did he loose his grip again and again, until he was able to hold on and climb high enough to see Jesus? Successfully, Zacchaeus stood high above the crowd. It was in this high place, Jesus called to him.
It is my prayer we will begin climbing to the possibilities within our reach. Maybe we will stretch high enough on our own to catch the first branch or maybe we will need the help of others. Either way, the tree of opportunity is here, to be above and beyond the crowd, an opportunity to lift us in our relationship with others and in Jesus Christ.
What will we choose? Are we ready to climb or pass it by? Will we touch the tree and find it a rough and difficult challenge and decide the ground is a safer place to be? Or, will we look at the tree and say, “If we can figure out where and how to begin, if we can scale the difficult part, and find a high place, God will respond.”
Regardless of if, how and when we climb, we can all pray now. Pray brothers and sisters in Christ, for our nation as it moves “to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God”. (Micah 6:8, CEB) Pray and “make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties us together. We are one body and one spirit, just as God also called us in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all..” (Ephesians 4:3-6)
Awaken Our Hearts
Daynette Snead, is an Ordained Baptist Minister and Pastor of Community Outreach serving, First Chin Baptist Church, a Burmese refugee congregation in Eastern North Carolina, President of Diaspra (Diversity Inclusion A Support Presentation Association), Licensed Lifeforming Diversity Coach, and Chair of the Racial Reconciliation Ministry Team of the Cooperative Baptist Church Fellowship North Carolina. She coaches congregations and church leadership towards intercultural ministry. Daynette is a Doctor of Ministry cohort at Gardner-Webb University and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org