This past week, I was really encouraged by the teaching Mary gave on pursuing peace. I loved the idea of peace over payback. I think our sinful hearts naturally want revenge and to fight back. But Jesus had a different way.
He was able to be angry, but in a holy way, turning tables over in the temple, but not sinning. (Matthew 21:12-13) What self control! The struggles our country has been going through in the past weeks have made me so angry, so frustrated, at a loss for what to do, how to speak up, how to love well. As I have thought more and more about what holy peace looks like, Jesus has drawn me to the Gospel stories of Him hanging out with people. Loving on the marginalized, not getting caught up in politics, and bringing all kinds of people into the fold of His big, beautiful story. I saw a post this past week on social and thought it captured in words exactly how I was feeling.
I don’t want to forget, that like Brene Brown says, “with Jesus, there always has to be a death.” His physical death, yes of course. But also death of our dreams, “my” way of living, our ways of thinking that may not be God’s way. God is really pushing on that part of me these days.
I want to remember that Jesus asks us to give up everything we have to follow Him. He doesn’t just want part of us, he wants all of us. Don’t forget, the rich young ruler, the Bible says, “walked away sad” because He wasn’t ready to give all He had to the Lord. (Mark 10:17-31)
I want to remember how in a day when no man would talk to a woman in public, He continued to push the boundaries of society by including them. Including me. The hemorrhaging woman. The woman at the well. The woman caught in adultery. Allowing Mary to become the first preacher. Lydia becoming an Evangelist.
I want to remember the religious leaders of the day opposing Jesus and Him standing firm. Jesus going to Zacchaeus’ home for dinner and inviting Him to be part of His family, instead of schmoozing it up with those in power. (Luke 19:1-10)
I want to remember the Jesus that left Jerusalem and the politics that resided there to preach on a boat, go to the mountains to pray, and hung out in the leprosy colonies. (Luke 5:12-16)
I want to remember that Jesus’ skin was brown. Not white. That He talked to and pursued hearts of Samaritans whose skin was a different color than His. That He touched those with his hands that the crowds thought were unclean, broken, unworthy. (John 4:4-26)
Let’s follow this Jesus. The true Jesus. Let us seek to look like Him by “telling of the good news to the poor, feeding the hungry, empowering the marginalized, and loving the broken parts of those around us.”