Folks who are invested in progressive politics often ask why I’m not more involved in work to change the filthy rotten system. How can you care about people who are being crushed by evil policies and not invest yourself in changing policy? On the other hand, church folks who care about community and neighborhood ministry sometimes ask why we would invest time in something like a march. How can you advocate for policy changes when this world’s system is passing away and God’s kingdom is all that will last?
My answer, in short, is the Jesus Rev. Barber introduced me to fifteen years ago. No love is more personal than the love of Jesus. We aim to share that love personally in everything we do. Whether it’s offering hospitality to the stranger at our door, spreading a table for neighborhood meals, mentoring young people from the neighborhood, teaching co! urses in prison, organizing for community self-help, or advocating for better policies, we want to live into the love we’ve received from Jesus. Are we always sure exactly what that love should look like? No. We have not mastered love in relationships nor have we perfected love in politics. But that is no reason to shy away from either. If God’s love really is for everybody, then we’ve got to try to put it into practice everywhere.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, in his monthly newsletter, talks about racism, Black History Month, and loving people – in person and through systems. God’s love, put in practice everywhere. Where are you putting it into practice? Are you drawn to work with people or with systems or both?