Change the World God’s Way
Posted by Dr. Larry Taylor
The Epiphany of Emmanuel
- We pray for an end to injustice.
- We pray for a welcoming of the displaced.
- We pray for an end to a culture of death.
- We pray for truth to prevail.
- We pray for the hungry to be fed, the homeless to be housed, and the naked to be clothed.
- We pray for health, wholeness and healing.
- We pray for an end to poverty and want.
- We pray for clean hearts and servant attitudes.
- We pray for a world of shalom.
- We pray for the expansion of the radically inclusive, subversive, multicultural body of Christ.
As we do, we are praying according to God’s will. We know we are because those are all biblical petitions. We know God desires to respond, enable, empower, and create.
But, how will God answer those prayers?
Not through magic, nor through violence, or political maneuvering.
God answers those prayers through us, using us as God’s hands, feet, and voice.
God within us emanates light, warmth, love, acceptance, and grace in all directions, indiscriminately and without judging.
And, so, we must go deep within, learn the difference between the true and shadow self, find the motives behind our defenses, and allow the Great Physician to heal our deepest memories. We need to be reparented by Abba. We need to connect deeply with the Divine Spirit, learn to abide under the shadow of the Almighty, resting in the Secret Place of the Most High.
Only there do we gain the wisdom, courage, and strength to change the world God’s way rather than the way of the world.
The way of the world involves violence, coercion, and dominance. The way of the world seeks to take over school boards and dominate a political party so its way can be forced on everyone. The way of the world is armed and ready; it invades capitols, stacks courts, and crushes opposition. It is the way many Jews chose in Jesus’ day. They wanted a messiah, but not one like Jesus. They wanted a violent messiah, one who would use his power to obliterate the Roman military machine, banish the pagan gentiles, and rule over a peaceful Israel.
Instead, Jesus washed feet, healed, forgave, welcomed sinners, and died on a Roman gibbet. This Messiah conquers hatred with love, overcomes sin with forgiveness, destroys death by dying, and overpowers chaos and evil by absorbing them into himself. This is deep magic. It cracks stone tables of sacrifice. The dead live. The living are being transformed.
I pray for us to have the courage to stand against war, poverty, racism, injustice, sickness, environmental destruction, and inhumanity. I pray for us to have the courage to stand against evil God’s way, the way of Jesus, the way of love, the way of nonviolence, the way of the cross.