I’m sorry for the slim pickings lately for Sunday posts. I keep thinking I’ll do some great stuff on Sunday afternoons and then I get sidetracked by other things.
I went to church today to an Episcopalian service (long story) and everybody was in mourning about Trump. Several of the people had gone to Austin the day before to participate in the Women’s March. It was fascinating because the stereotype is that Southern Christians would be pro-Trump.
However, the more I listened, the more I understood the distinction. These people were definitely followers of Christ. But they stressed His compassion, mercy, and healing, and wanted to do the same in this broken world.
In contrast, the more well-known variant of Christians who get into US politics are also followers of Christ. But they stress the fact that He is the only door to the Father, and they often remind people that He is returning with a flaming* sword of truth coming from His mouth to judge the world.
What’s interesting is that both groups are right. I read a book Joshua when I was younger, in which Jesus came back (but the people didn’t realize it was Him). In one part he built two statues for two churches. One statue was of a bold powerful Jesus, while the other was meek. The congregations didn’t like the statue Joshua had built for each, and they switched. They wanted to continue in their comfortable focus on just some of Jesus’ qualities.
(Before angry Catholics bite my head off in the comments: Yes the book was apparently written by a heterodox Catholic priest and so you can draw whatever conclusions you wish. I’m not endorsing the book, I just remember that part of it and thought it was neat when I was a kid.)
* I have always pictured the sword flaming that is coming out of Jesus’ mouth. Do I have any reason to think that? It doesn’t say that explicitly in the Revelation passage. Am I just getting confused with the flaming sword guarding the Garden of Eden?