Blog Roundup – January
January is always filled with resolutions. Given how cliché` the subject can be, I found Ana Ashby’s reflection on preferring “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” refreshing and honest. Other blogs last month spoke to my own resolutions, though mine are not nearly as unique and well-put as Ana’s. Loosely speaking, I’d like to get outside of my comfort zone more this year.
With that in mind, I recently went to Sunday worship at St. Sabina’s, a predominantly African-American church on Chicago’s south side. Geographically and culturally, it couldn’t have been more different from my north side apartment and my mostly white, mostly subdued Lutheran home church in Michigan. At St. Sabina’s, parishioners regularly murmured “Thank you, Jesus;” we embraced one another openly rather than awkwardly shaking hands during the passing of the peace; and the homily lasted longer than many of my home church’s services.
During the homily, the preacher spoke passionately about pursuing justice. I looked around and thought: how much this must matter to them, the fight for justice, in a way I can’t understand. They live with oppression and injustice every day. I, on the other hand, don’t know anything about what it means to deal with either of those, as much as I might like to talk about social justice.
I was born into nearly every privileged group in this country—white, middle-class, and Christian. I cannot speak to the struggle for reconciliation as Martin Luther King did, and as C. Nikole Saulsberry does in her moving reflection on his legacy. I am more like the people Skyler Oberst discusses in his blog: willing to help out during the holidays and not much more.
With that in mind, I’m coming to a second resolution: to talk less about Jesus. Not because I believe in God any less, but because to say I love Him and not genuinely work for His Kingdom is the epitome of religious hypocrisy, something Jesus abhorred. Hopefully in this blog roundup you’ll hear less about Jesus from me; hopefully if you meet me you’ll see more of Him in the way I live.
And I hope, too, that these blogs speak to your own personal struggles as they did to mine.
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