The news this morning highlighted a few words that Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes II said about one another as they waited for the Super Bowl. Mahomes spoke about how important it was to watch what the older player did on and off the field, saying it would make him a better quarterback. Brady talked about the many gifts the younger player brought to the game, saying he was sure that Mahomes would be in many more championship games in the future. It was a nice moment of character and respect shared in a news interview.
Instead of the respectful way that Mahomes and Brady spoke about one another it appears that what we see in our political atmosphere seems to gain greater attention. Some people who carry resentments feel no inhibition to speak ill of others. Others who believe they are right, no matter what, find it easy to belittle and criticize.
I don’t know about you, but I believe it is time to reclaim our Christian witness even when we disagree. When reading in Galatians chapter 2, I was struck by the encounter Paul had with followers of Jesus who were called “pillars”. Paul, whose name was changed from Saul, was known as a persecutor of Christians. Paul felt compelled to meet with leaders in the new movement Jesus began. Galatians 2 is filled with gossip and suspicion. The people Paul went to meet weren’t sure about him because of his history, and he wasn’t so sure about the others. In spite of all of that, there was some evidence that the people involved looked to see the best in one another.
Read these words from Galatians 2: 9 & 10 –
and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do.
Last night I had the great joy of meeting with some young adults. They talked about the challenges that face our nation and the church. They spoke about the continuing pattern of silo-ing they see happening. With great love and wisdom they talked about how important it is for Christians to stay connected with their mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Friends, we have work to do. Let us commit to work for transformation in a way that demonstrates who we are as disciples of Christ. Let us remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” (Strength to Love, 1963)
Your Sister On the Journey,