I hope to write a new book this summer on the topic of “IS THERE HOPE FOR AMERICA: ENGAGING AND NAVIGATING IN THIS DIFFICULT WORLD” (or something like this). Our Louisiana Legislative Session is in its last few weeks now and I hope to get started on this short book sometime in June. I’ll keep you posted.
I was contacted this week by Senator Cassidy’s office to ask if I would offer the Invocation at the Senator’s next town hall meeting. It will be in the morning of May 31st in Covington, 321 N. Theard St. I said I would come with my armor on and with a body guard. Lord willing, this one will be uneventful, but you never know with all the polarization in the country. You are all welcome to come.
I have been meditating upon the way Jesus handled a contentious encounter in Luke 12:13-15a. Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then he said to them,” Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed…”.
Two major applications stand out for my world and calling:
1. Don’t Get Diverted and Distracted from my God-given mission to Make Disciples
It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t care about justice issues. He cared. However, he didn’t weigh in and entangle himself in every issue of world affairs. He never diverted from his mission or diluted his witness. At the height of his popularity the people wanted to make him a political king. Jesus did not bite on this offer nor did he get embroiled in most of the hot-button social issues of his day. I try to stay focused within the scope of my mission to Make Disciples while at the same time equipping and encouraging leaders to engage in their callings and areas of expertise.
2. Don’t Use Jesus as a Pawn for Personal Agendas and Preferences
Notice the brother in the story didn’t ask Jesus to divide the estate fairly but asked Jesus to side with him. There was no room for another opinion or dialogue. His brother was wrong and he was trying to use Jesus as leverage to get his way. Jesus didn’t take sides but rather preached a message on greed to address the deeper issues.
The temptation exists today in politics, relationships and theological discussions to play the “God Card.” Sometimes, we can use the “God is on my side” attitude to avoid uncomfortable conversations, listen well or practice self-evaluation in order to advance our own agendas. Are we seeking the way of Jesus or merely making him the pawn to get our way? Abraham Lincoln was asked if God was on the side of the North in the Civil War. His answer is classic, “Sir, my great concern is not whether God is on our side. My great concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
Please pray I navigate my complicated waters wisely even as I pray you do the same. These are great days to serve God and opportunities abound. Make Disciples with me.
Helping Louisiana’s Leaders,