Bridge Over Troubled Waters

In this season of national duress, the world is an extremely dark place of polarization and factions.  Our conversation is dominated by all of the islands of paranoia.  In this environment, there are often times when we get caught up in all of the storylines to the point of losing sight of what is real.  These storylines become the guideposts to nowhere, and the darkness spreads to fertile ground.

The fast waters of division are eroding the safe harbors of our national psyche.  We find ourselves polarized and paralyzed to the point where very little is ever accomplished.  The one place that people should be able to turn to is the church that is filled with the light of the New Testament, believers spoken of in the book of Isaiah. 

“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.” Isa 60:NKJV

An old saying says don’t curse the darkness, light a candle.” This is the point where the church has gotten off course.  We have succumb too often as the body of Christ’s believers to the malaise of finger pointing and name calling; this does nothing more than divide.  All the while the spirit of God is attempting to enter our world with a fresh move toward oneness across the ethnic/cultural divide along with the social economic and so-called class divide.  Enough said.  The solution is to find those who would not cower to the cold fast waters of divisional darkness.  There are those whom the bible speaks of as repairer of the breach, restorer of paths to dwell in, raising up the foundation of many generations. Isaiah 58:12 (KJV) Is that us? 

“If you get rid of unfair practices; quit blaming victims; quit gossiping about other people’s sins.  If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.  I will always show you where to go.  I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places– firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community liveable again. Isaiah 58:9-12 (MSG)

We must challenge our thinking in a way that is not with a conventional thought process and become those repairers of the breach, because in these times it is going to involve sacrifice.  The sacrifice will involve preferring others before self.  This diverse way of thinking is not new.  Jesus taught “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:39 (KJV)

The whole idea of building a bridge becomes a candle of light; an idea that becomes a candle of light that can solve a problem. The problem is division and the bridge solves the problem by bringing the two sides of the chasm into a place of relevance through communication. This bridge has its foundation anchored on both sides of the chasm.

The expanse reaches out from its foundation, both sides of the chasm to a final resting place of strength through the uniting connection over and above the waters of division.  Together we can make the community livable again, identified by the foundations established on all sides of the ethnic/cultural chasm.  The high road of appreciating, valuing and investing in those on all sides of the divide will accomplish this desire, by making no relevance to the waters of division.

This by no means excuses sin or sinful practices.  When confronted with the woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus did not shy away from the question of sin.  He lit the candle by challenging her accusers to examine their own individual sin issues.  He used love and compassion by appreciating the woman as God, the Father’s creation.  Jesus did this by giving her a way to leave from the stage of shame with dignity by saying “woman where are your accusers,” restoring value to the woman.  Last of all, Jesus invested in the woman when He said to her “go and sin no more.”  John 8:1-11

The methodology of appreciating, valuing and investing can be used universally when dealing with ethnic/cultural conflict or misunderstanding.  Let’s be very clear that this is a skin issue and not a sin issue.  Meaning, that if someone of a different ethnic or social economic background does not view things like we would, according to our ethnic cultural values i. e. lens, this fact in its self does not make us good and them evil.

We can not allow ethnocentric values to get confused with God’s standard.  Remember that God is no respecter of persons.  Many cultural values that society allows as cultural norms are not in accordance with the word of God.

Let us look to build communication upon the bridge of God’s love because He allowed all ethnic groups a way to leave the stage of our shame with dignity through Christ.

Kevin K. Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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