Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective.
How should we respond to the divisions in our society sparked by the COVID crisis?
As with any national crisis, COVID has exposed and exacerbated social divisions. Class, race, politics are being pressed (and even manipulated), in order to further divide our nation, and even the church. As Christians, we must not allow this to be so. Jesus called us to be “peacemakers” (Matthew 5). Jesus Himself accomplished peace for us on the cross, by “swallowing” the animosity that divides us (Ephesians 2). Therefore, if we do not live into that peace in practical ways, we deny (even undermine) the peace He has secured for us (Ephesians 4:1-6).
But how exactly do we do this?
There are perhaps many things we need to do, but most critically we need to do the hard and sacrificial work of seeking understanding. We need to repent of our self-centered arrogance and become curious of other people’s perspectives—especially those that may be different from our socio-cultural experience. Don’t assume that you see it all. Don’t naively assume that your news source gives you the “objective perspective.” We need to become learners.
This is exactly what Paul commands us in Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV):
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
As Christians we are called to humble ourselves by empathizing and stepping into the experience of others. Why? Because this is precisely what God did for us in Christ.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!”
~ Philippians 2:3-8 (NIV)