Revolution is in the air.
This July 4th, my son and I took a trip to Boston. Two Red Sox games, a trove of history, and some great Italian food made for a fantastic weekend as we took in the spirit that came to that city in 1776 and never left. Whatever one’s politics, the American Revolution is one of the monumental events for what human beings will always value – liberty.
One could argue our Revolution is ongoing. As Americans, we still fight for people to be free. Whether against ISIS in the Middle East or through political means as seen in the recent Supreme Court ruling around gay marriage, Americans still fight for freedom. Our forefathers managed to harness revolution and its power, and that spirit still propels our nation today.
As a pastor and political scientist, I am surprised people view politics and religion in such different lights. Politics, we know, is a dynamic process. Elections occur, leaders change, laws come and go – in politics we expect change.
In religion, constancy is the norm. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Sunday worship services are by and large composed of what we have said and sung before. Tradition reigns in church and the Bible is viewed as a word of God that never changes…
Within our Scripture are revolutions any reader can see. God works through an array of the faithful – Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and countless others with some astounding diversity in the mix. Rahab, a prostitute. Deborah, the female prophet. God moves through different promises, from one of land, law, sacrifices, prophets, a Son and then a Spirit. And while there is always the constant of God’s love, the way that love is expressed by God changes over time. The record of those revolutions is what we call, the Bible.
I wonder if what we are seeing now in church is a revolution that is already underway. Over church history, different verses within the Bible have risen to greater prominence in different times. Martin Luther lifted up how we are saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8) and he resisted mightily James’ assertion – faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
In our day, one verse may be ascending. It is a verse I have not spoken on often, for it seemed vague. It’s day, though, is cresting the horizon, and the coming church may well find its message in its words. The verse is this;
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:8
The seeds of revolution are already in the pages of our Book, a truth none of its readers should find surprising.
(thank you for reading, if you found Jesus is this please share and comment)