Keeping God’s love at the center

October 28th, 2020

It’s been quite a year and, for people in the USA, the 2020 federal election may have received as much or more attention than COVID-19. It’s no secret that partisan politics are everywhere we look, and people of many political persuasions tout their Christian and/or biblical values. But, when the election tension heightens, how do you keep God’s love at the center of your life?

A suburb of Cleveland discovered the answer to that question when a statue of a homeless Jesus sleeping on a park bench was reported to the police. The rector at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village, Ohio said, “Perhaps the statue will inspire those who see it to take action and help . . . Seeing Jesus depicted this way reminds us that Jesus identified with the outcast and marginalized in his own day.” This resonates with liberation theology, in which the central claim is that God’s love and concern for the oppressed is a major thread throughout the Bible. Liberation theologians call for justice for those who have been exploited by the wealthy, using texts such as Isaiah 61:1-4. Jesus’ preaching and teaching follows in the tradition of liberation theology in Scripture, such as Matthew 25:31-46 and the Beatitudes in Luke 6. 

Advocating for liberation

As Christians, our faith is at the center of our lives and informs everything about how we live — how we feel about ourselves, our families and our neighbors; how we serve our community, treat worship and even how we vote. The essential truth of God’s concern for the poor remains, no matter who fills the White House or the legislature. As people of faith, we are created in God’s image and called to partner with God in doing justice for the least of these in our world. Despite the temptation to be inundated with election news from TV pundits, find ways to center God’s love by serving your neighbor. How would you respond to the statue of a homeless Jesus sleeping on a park bench?  

Question of the day: How does your faith inform the way you show up in the world?
Focal scriptures: Luke 1:46-55; Amos 5:4-27; Luke 6:20-31

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