“I’ve stopped being surprised by sin,” a friend told me a few years ago.
I wish I could say the same.
I’ve been shocked by the vengeance sweeping across this country lately. The maddening crowd metes out swift judgment on everything from the inanimate statues of dead men to the follies of youth–with severe penalty and without mercy.
Back in those days, Israel didn’t yet have a king, so each person did whatever seemed right in his own eyes.Judges 21:25
Those doing the judging portend to stand for justice, and yet as Thomas Aquinas said, “Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution; justice without mercy is cruelty.” And the cruelty inherent in this moment confirms for me that what we’re witnessing is how it looks like to live without a King.
Right now, I have no where to look but up. I remind myself daily that I may be in this world, but I don’t have to be of it. God is not surprised by any of this, in fact, he told us to expect it. And if we, the beloved children of the King, live into our identity, we will certainly draw the ire of the crowd, but we also may be used as an instrument to save a few, those who are prompted to question where our hope comes from.
We are called to follow the instructions Paul gave the Colossians:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.Colossians 3:12-14
My prayer today is that Christ’s love may be boldly on display to the kingless as it is expressed fearlessly and abundantly by the children of the King, so that his love may, as only his love can, bind us together in a more perfect union.