It reminds me of the many times that Jesus healed folks by calling out the demons within them; freedom and liberation could only come when the demon (illness, disease, shame, pain, etc…) was called out. It was an exorcism that allowed the person suffering to be set free. The exorcism allowed relationships to be restored and the person who was bound by the demon to be welcomed back into their community.
The moment has come for healing in our nation. Just like in times of old, we must first do an exorcism. I am progressive in my theological understanding that has been filled with the Holy Spirit. My progressive nature might fight with my Pentecostal tendencies on occasion, but right now they are in deep agreement. Our nation is in trouble. Some would say that it is Donald Trump or Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell or it is the Tea Party or the conservatives. Focusing on an individual is not completely sufficient. We have to do deeper; we have to go to the root. In this case, the root may be demonic forces that desire to destroy the soul of our people and of our nation.
The policies that have come from our current administration have never been intended to bless the masses, but to instead curse them. We watched as the latest version of the Congressional Republicans’ health care bill failed but would have resulted in 33 million people losing their healthcare. Passions ran so high that President Trump publicly threatened members of his own party. If Republican Senators did not fall in line and vote in favor of a bill, that would ultimately cause many Americans to fall in bad health or worse to lose their lives, their careers as politicians would be in jeopardy.. A budget has been proposed that will destroy Medicaid by cutting of 11 million people from healthcare including seniors who need nursing home care and sick children. In addition, a cut in Snap benefits will cut food programs that feed poor children. There is a plan to cut social security disability that will cut off disability benefits for those with a severe chronic or terminal illness. There is also a proposal to cut pell grants for our young adults to get a higher education. Inside the budget are increases for defense spending so we can kill more people; increase spending on border protections and prisons that will hold more of our undocumented siblings; and perpetuate the increased militarization of local police forces and increase mass incarceration of communities of color but in particular the African American community. This budgets priority is very clear. PROFITS OVER PEOPLE!!!! This is not the way of God. It is contrary to the will of God.
Daily, I wrestle with the fact that as a Christian I serve a God that gave. This God gave life, gave the earth, gave the water, gave the air, gave freedom, gave liberty and when we as humans messed up gave us His Son so we could be reconciled with God. This Son that God gave us, healed people (free of charge), fed people (free of charge), educated people (free of charge), and delivered people (free of charge). As a child, He spent time as an undocumented immigrant in the land of Egypt when His step-father received a message to leave the land that they were living because it was no longer safe for them. So He went with His parents through a desert to come into land that was not His own. In addition, he would eventually spend time in prison, be beaten, tortured and killed for a crime that he did not commit. Yet, despite the worst treatment by humanity, he gave Himself for us all.
What have we learned?????
We are not following Christ’s example. We claim to be people of faith and guided by faith, but the policies espoused by our leaders reflects a chasm with what God did and what God said. A rally won’t make things right. We need to go to the root of the problem if we want to see lasting change.
I believe we are in a moment we need to perform an exorcism, a calling out of those forces that are destroying our families. To call out the demons by speaking truth about the forces influencing our nation’s leaders. We need truth telling and a willingness to walk in courage. For the sake of our children and all things we hold dear, we have to take action. Jesus came that we might have life and that more abundantly, but far too many will live in scarcity and deepening poverty if our country moves in its current direction.
We must call out:
greed that supports putting profits over people;
white supremacy that manifests itself as hate policies that attack people of color
and work to keep Muslims out of the country,
arrogance that asserts that money is real power,
policies that say the earth is disposable,
fear that somehow the diversity of our communities are destructive instead of healing,
hate that is celebrated instead of repented,
and all the many forces that move people to exclusion not inclusion.
If we are all created in the image and likeness of the Divine then whenever I oppress my sibling I am in fact oppressing the work of the Creator.
We are called to be a Beloved Community where all of God’s creation can live in harmony and appreciate the diversity of creation. I believe we need a strong vision and story of our world where all are welcome but to get there...we have to deal with the evil within.
Let us continue to Change the Damn World until it is a Beloved Community for ALL.