Provocative and Escalating Rhetoric
Once again, we had 500 men come together and fill up Young Life's Lost Canyon camp. Once again, we had 500 men of different ethnicities, cultures, economic statuses, age, and denominational and political affiliations. All 500 men were united in one place with one heart and one voice, giving honor to Jesus the King above all kings.
Once again, all of those guys put their hands on each other's shoulders and said heartfelt prayers of blessing and compassion. And to be honest, it was not really that hard. In fact, it was a lot of fun, and it was inspiring to see this oneness against the backdrop of all the tension in our society these days.
As a result of this men's retreat inspiration, we, the male and female pastors of Living Streams, got in our church van and went downtown to sow seeds of peace and kindness prior to President Trump's speech at the convention center. We went to a church located near the convention center and prayed for them and their people. We prayed for a security guard and also a police officer, who admitted he was feeling very anxious about the evening. We listened to some passionate and polite protesters, and then we departed with a sense of hope.
I do not write this to discourage passionate engagement in social justice issues. There is real pain and evil in our society. (Please engage in society's pain!) But I write this to counteract the provocative and escalating rhetoric out there. I write this to remind us that there are a lot of good people doing a good job out there today.
And I write this because of my study into Jesus' life as He encountered intense political tension in Matthew 14:1-14. His first action was to withdraw to a quiet place. Then, His second action was to go on the offensive with kindness and compassion, instead of inciting words and condescension. Please read the passage, at least Matthew 14:11-14.
Please join us a this Sunday as we finish our study on Daniel, a man who navigated a world of extreme political pressures in a beautiful and powerful way.