I found myself a bit numb during and following the events on this past Wednesday when a mob of angry Americans stormed their own Capitol building in a violent attempt to overturn results of the presidential election. They succeeded only in wreaking enough havoc to temporarily delay the work of legislators and in displaying in vivid detail the most vile side of human nature.
I don’t care what you think about President Trump or President-elect Joe Biden. I don’t care if think that crowd was full of Trump supporters or Antifa members or someone else. If you call yourself a Jesus-follower, it is time, in fact it is way past time, for us to stop arguing about Republicans vs. Democrats, Black vs. White or any other form of Us vs. Them. It is time for us to stop worrying about who is to blame for what and time for us to start being part of solutions.
We all hoped that 2021 would be the solution, and yet the new year is already marred. But if ever there were a time for new beginnings, it is now. Instead of focusing on turning a page of the calendar, let us focus on turning a new page in the story of our lives. We need new pages filled with grace for ourselves and others, and with openness to learn, grow and change for the better. May these new individual pages build into collective pages that relate stories where beauty rises from the ashes of ugly actions so that the pages of history will be turned.
I admit this seems overly simplistic. I admit I don’t know how to solve all the problems in our world. When I think of that needs changed, I am overwhelmed. But thankfully, I do know where to start – with prayer, asking Jesus to guide those of us who follow Him in all our words and actions that we might “be the good” in this world.
There is a dark irony that the events of this past week happened on Epiphany. If you aren’t familiar, Epiphany concludes the 12 Days (after) Christmas. January 6 is a feast day or “King’s Day” that celebrates the revelation of God in the human being of Jesus Christ. It is associated with the visit of Magi who brought gifts and worshipped Jesus as King of the Jews.
While searching for Jesus, the Magi visited King Herod – the Roman-appointed ruler of Judea who was known for doing whatever it took, to the point of killing his own family members to keep his power. But the Magi ignored him. Herod’s worldly power held no sway of them. Instead, they worshipped Jesus. The one who left his throne in Heaven and came to earth as a helpless child born to a poor couple in a small town. Jesus never reached for power, never stepped on others for his own gain. This is how God reveals himself to us. This is who we are to imitate.