God’s Vision: My Responsibility to Assist
We are men and women who are called by God to assist in making God’s vision of the world a reality. Our call is not to do everything, but each of us are asked to do something – to share in the ministry of Jesus where we are. The gospel demands that we leave the old behind; that we think thoughts and do actions that we never thought were possible for us. We are to make plain God’s vision to our families, our co-workers, our community, and the world. We are to make plain God’s vision in the public arenas; to disturb the status quo; to be bold and to refuse to be silent about the injustices and evil we see and experience.
This will not be a popular or easy way of living. We must have a passionate conviction for justice and this is bound to put us in conflict with both religious and government authorities. We must be unusually fearless, and it will appear at times as down right foolish, as we face the principalities and powers of this world. We will be misunderstood, perhaps rejected and not always right in what we do. But we will keep trying to discern where God is a work and our responsibility to assist. We can and will be amazingly effective in our obedience to God to speak and act for justice.
A couple week’s ago the corporation Nike returned to a tradition of relying on controversy in marketing by revealing Colin Kaepernick, the polarizing former NFL quarterback, as a face of a major new marketing campaign honoring the 30th anniversary of its iconic “Just Do It” slogan. Remember he was the one who first knelt during the playing of the national anthem to protest racism and has been both praised and scorned since . In an era rife with divisive political discourse, most major companies try to avoid taking stances that could make customers angry. Yet Nike has signed Mr. Kaepernick, perhaps the most divisive American athlete of his generation to a lucrative new contract and will produce branded apparel with his name and image.
Perhaps its about money, but it could also be about taking visible and positive stand on a major social issue supported by many fans, customers and athletes. The picture of Mr. Kaepernick is haunting with the words across his face: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Isn’t that what God is asking of us? “Believe in my vision of the world – one of justice, peace, and love for all neighbors even if it involves you in risky action.” In so many words, wasn’t God the first to say “Just Do It!”
Join me in this prayer:
O Lord, open my eyes that I may see the needs of others; open my ears that I may hear their cries; open my heart so that they need not be without succor; let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong. Show me where love and hope and faith are needed, and use me to bring them to those places. And so open my eyes and my ears that I may this day be able to do some work of peace for thee. Amen
(Alan Paton, #456 UMH)
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.