January 23, 2021
The United States affirmed a new President this week. There was little violence, and for that we are truly thankful. I invite you to continue to pray for the church in the United States, as it continues to live in a polarized society. Pray for the whole church in the world, as other places on this earth live with violence, poverty and natural disasters. This weekend is World Fellowship Sunday for the Mennonite World Conference. We remember places where it is dangerous to be a Mennonite/Anabaptist, like in Congo, Colombia and Ethiopia.
Our faith and our sacred book are not political, but sometimes our beliefs come into the political world. Jesus says ” pray for those who persecute us.” When our faith demands that we love everyone, some political leaders might see that as a threat to their power. Paul writes in Romans 12:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
To be a living sacrifice can be seen as a political statement, although it is not intended to be that way. We called to live out our faith, and sometimes it gets messy. Then in Romans 13, Paul writes, ” Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” ( Romans 13:1). So, we must be wise and reflective about how we act within the society that we live.
In our community, there is a house that flies both the North Korean and Confederate flags. The Confederate flag is racist symbol, looking back at the history of slavery. The North Korean flag is flown for reasons that are unknown to me. Canadians tend to be polite, and we do not want to be confrontational with our neighbours. What can the church do ? We should pray for our leaders, but also hold them to do what is right for all citizens. As a municipal politician, I struggle with this every meeting. And it is a good struggle to have.
Salaam and Shalom as we journey together in faith and life,