How We Respond: Matt B. Redmond
re: How we respond
It’s not complicated.
When a pandemic hits.
When your are treated as less than a person.
When you don’t like how your church is handling things.
When you lose your freedoms.
When politicians make terrible decisions.
When tyranny is a threat.
When basic reality is ignored.
When you feel threatened.
When your candidate loses.
When death is imminent.
When violence is at your doorstep.
When you have to wear a mask.
When have to make a reservation at church.
When you have to quarantine.
And when you lose your job one week before the pandemic hits and therefore do not get those government benefits.
When these things happen, we who have pledged our allegiance to Christ are called to ask, “How would Jesus respond?”
We do not have to wonder.
He would believe his own “gospel of the kingdom.”
He would serve without complaining.
He would take on the once dehumanizing work of washing feet. He would weep over unbelief.
He would turn the other cheek.
He would forgive those killing him.
He would bless his enemies.
He would pray for his enemies.
He would be generous to those in need.
And when asked to carry something one mile, he would carry it two, even if it was a cross.
He could have talked of and initiated a revolution to throw down the oppressive powers of Rome. He could have called down angels to remove the evil leaders on their so-called thrones.
But he didn’t.
This is not complicated. But it is not easy.
It is not easy because we evangelicals in America have been discipled by NewsMax, The Drudge Report, Fox News, CNN, The New York Times, and the politicians in which our “hopes and fears of all the years are met.”
Jesus is not our King and we do not believe the gospel of the kingdom of God. He is a consolation prize and our gospel is a get-out-of-hell-free-card that makes us only slightly friendlier and slightly more chaste, casting us in the molds of Pharisees, who when actually faced with the kingdom of God sided with Rome.
So how should we respond?
It’s not complicated.
May we respond with the same love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control Jesus displayed in his body when “he emptied himself” of his glory by coming to live in a world full of more suffering and oppression than we can imagine.
May we follow him alone.
It’s not complicated. But it’s not easy.