2017 was a year of undoing.
It was a year of doubting everything I’d known, everything I’d been taught, everything I’d been told.
The American political situation haunted the world stage, and I grappled with the whole thing, as so many of us did. I was brought to confusion and doubt as I listened to and read what people were thinking and feeling all across the world. I listened to both sides, and to those who had taken a non-voting stance.
In addition, natural disasters and purposeful acts of terror and violence tore at our world. I’m somewhat surprised the earth didn’t rip right open and shatter into pieces, it felt like we were strained and torn and ripped all over the globe.
We Don’t Know All The Answers…
It seemed that throughout the year there were situations, one after another, when the words of God were wielded as a firearm to attack others. It felt like Christians had made up their mind to wound rather than restore, to hurt rather than heal.
It was a year of equating North American Christianity with racism, violence, guns and homophobia.
Honestly, in 2017 I wanted to cross out sections in my Bible and pretend they weren’t there. Scripture’s teachings on sin, sexuality, gender, and salvation are so controversial that I often wished I could make my own rules. Wasn’t that 2017 for all of us? A year of being undone, unmade, and unsure.
I wanted to bend the rules and allow this road of faith to be wide, easy, and comfortable, rather than the narrow path Jesus described in Mathew 7. But that’s not Christ’s Christianity.
…But We Don’t Have to Be Uncertain.
In the kingdom of God there is certainty about some things. Imagine that! In this uncertain world, there are in fact some things that are certain. Some things stay the same regardless of the media’s perspective this week or the prominent opinions of our time.
Aren’t we all ready to be sure about something again? To stand with our feet firmly planted, shoulders back and chin raised? Unashamed. Unafraid. Unapologetic.
2017 was a year of doubting the inerrancy of scripture. Of doubting the potency of God’s inspired words. I did it too, so I can’t really blame others. But I can call it out and seek to bring change.
Rebuilding on Scripture
It’s no coincidence to me that the first sermon I heard in 2018 was about the certainty of the word of God and the inerrant truth of scripture.
There came a point when God whispered to my heart “Enough is enough. Do you love me? Will you follow me? Then trust My word and trust My heart.”
After a year when our North American version of Christianity crumbled, I find myself asking: what will the church look like this year? Maybe the undoing was for our own good. Maybe we needed it, in order to lay down our rights and pick up our cross to follow Jesus.
This is my challenge to you this year: Allow your faith to be built back together again.
Make peace with God, don’t put it off.
All the hurt, the offense, the shame and the questions – I feel them too but LAY THEM ON THE ALTAR.
Ingest scripture. Digest truth. Soak in the Spirit. Bear fruit.
Love others. Care for the poor, comfort the lonely, defend the oppressed, welcome the marginalized.
Let your faith be rebuilt by the power of the God who made you. because in the kingdom of Christ, broken things are made new.