Pip's Perspective March 3, 2023

Hello Broadway Family,

Although it has been a relatively mild winter, today we are expecting snow! I hope that you are safe and warm inside, but that if you have to venture out into the weather, that you do so safely.

I don't have my own thoughts to share with you this week, so here is a reading for today from "A Just Passion: A six-week Lenten reader," written by John Perkins:

“Jesus is the incarnation of God’s love. “He himself is our peace,” Ephesians 2:14 says (NIV). But Jesus also said he came into our world to disturb the peace—to drive a wedge into the divided society that holds us captive. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth,” he says in Matthew’s Gospel. “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34 NIV). That sword is a wedge to interrupt the way things are, not a weapon to wield in defense of the status quo. Instead of continually seeking God’s will for our lives and communities, we hold the Holy Spirit captive to our own desires—our selfish, materialistic desires. We see this in the prosperity gospel running rampant through the church today. The church is called to be the prophetic voice in response to society; that’s what we see in the model Jesus provided.

I believe God interrupts us with his love. So often when we’re interrupted, we get mad. I know what it feels like to be mad at God. When my son Spencer died, I was mad at God. Spencer had given his whole life to reconciliation, and I was so proud of him.

I prayed and said, “God, Spencer was a reconciler. He gave his life trying to bridge the racial divide in this country. I’ve been saying you took him, Lord, but he laid down his life willingly for you. And I want to release him. I want to give him back to you, God.” I said that prayer and knew that God had interrupted me with his love. God showed me through Spencer’s death that I needed to give the rest of my life to reconciliation right here in West Jackson where Spencer was trying to do it. Whatever the cost, I needed to carry on the work that he’d been called to do.

His work was the same work Paul had been called to on the Damascus Road: the work of proclaiming reconciliation for all people in Jesus Christ. From the very beginning of God’s movement in the world, God has been interrupting people with his love—disturbing our false peace in order to make real peace possible. Jesus drives a wedge in the status quo to create space for something new. If we have ears to hear, the invitation is open for each of us: come and be part of the beloved community that God makes possible in Jesus Christ.”