Sparlers

A 37-year-old black man was shot to death on Tuesday while he lay on the ground in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  On the same day, one presidential nominee narrowly escaped indictment and settled for a blistering attack on her judgement and trustworthiness.  Meanwhile, the other presidential nominee was busy sharing reflections on what he admires most about Saddam Hussein.

And those are just the headlines.

As a country, we oscillate between outrage and apathy.  Fear, indifference, anger and division increasingly dominate the national conversation.  For some reason, we still seem convinced that yelling at each other on social media is going to accomplish something. The ability to disagree and treat one another civilly has almost evaporated.

It’s all just hard to watch.

Our country is crying out for hope.  And we as Christians are largely silent.  That’s the part that’s hardest for me to watch.

I’m not talking about our social media activism or political engagement.  I’m talking about our willingness to talk with others about Jesus.  Somewhere along the way, we became afraid to talk about Him.  Somewhere along the way, we learned to apologize for Him, hide Him or leave Him out of the conversation.  Maybe we didn’t want to offend.  Maybe we were afraid.  Maybe we didn’t know exactly what to say.  But we learned to be quiet.  We learned to raise our hands in worship on Sunday and go undercover on Monday.

Our country is desperate for the hope we’re afraid to share. 

The wounds of racism, injustice, corruption, greed and self-interest can be healed.  No one needs to live in the grip of bitterness, fear and alienation.  The gospel not only saves souls.  It transforms communities.  It gives hope for eternity and power for the challenges of today.

Christian, you don’t have anything to be ashamed of.  The hope our world needs is alive in you.  You’re an ambassador of Christ.  You’re a herald of grace, of love, of hope.  The world needs you.  The world needs Jesus.  The world needs you to carry the name of Jesus.

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Jesus
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