January 2018 Newsletter
January 1, 2018, 8:00 AM

Grace and peace y’all!

I cannot believe that it is the beginning of a new year already. This past year has been a doozy in so many ways. There was a lot to be uncomfortable with, saddened, and angry about this past year. So, much terrible rhetoric spewed from so many different places. So, many people being upset with others simply because of who they are or whose side they represent.

I am not innocent in this as well, I really liked the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi!

Though the movie did have its own ‘controversies’ regarding its reception by the public, it did provide one line that I think was absolutely brilliant. A character in a climactic scene states:

That’s how we win:
not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.

There was much talk this past year – politically and culturally – about fighting what we hate. No matter which political ideology you identify with, fighting what we hate became an unspoken guide and rule for almost all people. It seeped into every aspect of our life. People argued about sports, movies, games, the news, books, and more. Most argument centered around what we despise about the other person/idea.

It’s exhausting. It was a rough year in that regard for everyone. As a pastor it was an especially trying year to preach the gospel in the midst of those storms and moments of chaos.

When, I watched The Last Jedi and heard that line, I was floored. Of all the connections that the film has with Christmas and Advent; that line was what spoke to me the most deeply. That is what I want to live by. That is what I want my life of faith to live through.

Our life of faith isn’t about ‘fighting what we hate’ (though there are many faithful people who live by that silent mantra), but about saving what we love.

The difficulty with it – and it is difficult – is that it easy to point out the things we don’t like, that we don’t agree with, or that we hate. It is much more difficult to state what we love and what we cherish.

My hope and prayer for me, for us, for our world is that we live into that part of our faith, living out our faith for others in such a way that we are saving what we love, and not fighting what we hate.

Continued Merry Christmas and blessed new year to each and every one of y’all. I love y’all. I mean it.

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