By Pastor Christopher Frye
– August 20, 2017
The events of this week and this past year have so sickened me. Yet, it’s not about me. I like to think that I have let go of self-absorption (this often needs to be a daily task) and have asked God to remove the desire for self-preservation as the rule of my life. I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to walk with Jesus. I have heard the call to take up my cross and follow. That call to faithfulness — to that long obedience in the same direction — necessarily will lead to those things that Jesus warned would be encountered along the way: ridicule, rejection, suffering, etc.
It is such an easy thing to confess the sin of others. When we reflect on our own inner nature and attitudes while engaging in healthy self-examination, we need to be honest. Our attitudes toward others are conditioned by the very culture in which we live — the culture that formed and normed us. While we say that we have all sinned and fallen short, it’s not enough to settle for such a generic confession. Specifically, to one extent or another, we have all participated in creating, maintaining, and permitting the very situations that have come to a head this past year. They have been there all along. There just seems to be little to no restraint anymore. Clearly this is a time for repentance.
As fellow members of the body of Christ, we confess that when one member suffers, the whole body suffers. We’re in this together too.
“We recognize that the kind of violence we witnessed in Charlottesville last weekend is very real and affects all of us,” said ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton. “We need to stand up against racism and anti-Semitism, show up for and advocate with others. Jesus, who makes visible those who are invisible, is already there. We need to show up, and we need to listen in each of our communities.”