Saturday, December 30, 2023

Resisting Darkness

 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

We are at the end of a year and more so than a lot of years this one seems darker than most.  Another war and the human slaughter that comes with unrestrained passions has broken out in Palestine and Israel.  The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has dragged into its second year.  Mass shootings in the U.S. have outnumbered any year yet. A former U.S. President is under multiple indictments, while supporters find grievances of every kind to agitate for an authoritarian regime to save them. The grim darkness does seem to be overwhelming, and humanity, it seems, is incapable of getting along.  So what is the spiritual malady driving this?

Greed, entitlement, and an epidemic sense of personal loss - loss of power, control, respect for law and order are apparent wherever we look.  The white sense of historic privilege being "lost" to immigrants, people of color, and anyone else who doesn't share their religious and social values riles them up and fuels the divisions cracking open fears of "the other" where shooting them is deemed safer than talking.  Where will it end?  How will it end? Not well most likely especially if the spiral away from love and hope continues and the courage to speak about it remains silenced.

We must resist the darkness by being bearers of the light.  Fear mongering, lack of truth-telling, social isolation, fake grievances, lack of compassion, and resorting to violence are the enemy. Resisting darkness involves creating opportunities for diverse people to share memories and learn about the humanness of the other.  Resisting involves giving time and resources to address issues in one's community that are behind addiction, poverty, lack of medical care, lack of education/skills/training. The third way to resist is to find ways to laugh and smile about one's own circumstances and lessen the seriousness with which we take matters that do not affect us.  Faith is a powerful tool in widening our lens to see a bigger world, to see a God too big to be tied down to one doctrine or concept about "who God is."  There are many many ways the Infinitude of God can seep into our social DNA and transform our society from preoccupation with power & control to forgiving and letting it all go to live another day in a beautiful creation God made just for us to play in. 

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