PRAYER IN SCHOOLS!
NEW DORA THE EXPLORER EPISODES!
So many people are yelling these days. (So many!) From Facebook posts to talking heads, everyone seems to be turning their own volume up to reach people who aren’t going to listen to them anyway.
More dialogue, less yelling. That’s what we need around here. When you converse with someone who disagrees with you, blasting off in their face destroys relationship. Dialogue is what builds trust and is an invitation for others to listen to you, as you listen to them.
After the Sandy Hook tragedy, everyone’s volume went to 11 about the gun control debate. One of my favorite musicians, Michael Gungor (of Gungor), tweeted what he wanted to be a simple, seemingly uncontroversial comment. He mused that perhaps we need to re-look at the gun purchasing system we have in place. Regardless of your position on that issue, his tweet sparked several incredibly critical, hissing responses—from Christ followers. There were enough comments that he decided to post a thoughtful essay on the reaction he got from Christ-following people. In the comments section, there are even more scathing and completely non-open minded responses. Like people didn’t even read what he had written. They simply turned their volume up to 11.
Jarrid Wilson, a pastor I follow on Twitter, tweeted last week “God would rather you show timid love than bold hate.” Good words.
Jesus teaches that change happens when true relationship is present. If you follow Jesus the Christ, you live in a world that no longer accepts your ideology or political positions simply because you talk about the God of the Bible. (Has the ever been the case, though?) Regardless of gaining an audience to share our opinion, how many times do we try to mold our views of politics or religion on Jesus, only to end up making Jesus out to have our own biased ways of thinking? Probably more than we realize, if we’re honest with ourselves.
“I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” –Jesus in John 17:23
Unity. That’s only going to happen if we turn down our volume. What if we decided to build unity over a meal, like Jesus did in that passage. (FYI, it’s the hour of His arrest and instead of battening down the hatches or instructing the disciples about just-war theory, Jesus prays that they [we] will be unified.) What if we conversed with people (at maybe, volume 5), say, over ice cream sundaes?
Maybe people would be willing to listen to Jesus and our take on how to follow The Christ.
Remember, concocting a Molotov cocktail for an ice cream social isn’t going to whet any appetites nor make any friends in the process.
Plus, it just ruins a perfectly good hot fudge sundae.