Deeper, Closer, Wider

Filter By:

The Morning After

main image

Like many of you, Karen and I found ourselves sitting in the dark first thing this morning, scrolling through our news feed, trying to absorb the stunning report of Donald Trump’s victory. Regardless of how you might have voted, the red and blue electoral map revealed a nation that needs considerable healing from our divisions. Some are celebrating today. Others are grieving.  Some are hopeful, others are fearful.  But chances are all of us are feeling weary and wary after this rancorous and unsettling election season. Clearly we have some soul-searching to do as a nation and as individuals.

I have deep concerns with a Trump presidency, just as I would have had with a Hillary Clinton presidency.  If there is anything that a majority of Americans could agree on, it’s that we were faced with two seriously flawed candidates. Nevertheless, the nation has spoken. I’ll leave the analysis to the pundits, but clearly there is a pent-up frustration with the way government has, or hasn’t, been working. 

So our nation has chosen an unconventional candidate and an untested political leader. We really don’t know what a Trump presidency will look like, as we have never seen him function in that role or context.  I was encouraged by a discernible humility in his speech, by his call for unity, and by his expressed concern for the well-being of every American. I was grateful, as well, for Hillary Clinton’s grace in defeat, and by her challenge to all Americans to work together for the common good. 

Our responsibility now, as faithful citizens, is to be prayerful, respectful, cooperative, and above all, hopeful. We woke up to a new President this morning, but our King is still on the throne. The Scriptures declare:

God reigns over the nations;
   God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble…
   for the kings of the earth belong to God;
   He is highly exalted.                
 Psalm 47:8-9

In our pre-election sermon on October 30, we reminded ourselves that “we who follow Jesus are to be people of hope, because our God is able to do something good, and maybe something new, with whatever happens on November 8.  And if ever there was a time for Christ’s people to come together, to love our neighbors, and to serve the common good – this is that time.” 

So after exhausting ourselves with the news, and still sitting in the darkness of that early hour, Karen and I prayed together for our new president, for our nation, and for our church; that we might be people of hope and grace who serve our nation and the world well, in Jesus’ Name. 

Posted by Bryan Wilkerson with

Challenging Our Assumptions

Summary: Being on a multicultural journey as a church means changing our assumptions about many things, including the way parents raise their children.

main image

There are so many things to celebrate about being a multicultural church – authentic relationships between people with different cultural backgrounds bring new insights and perspectives about God, about life, about friendships... and so much more.  But sometimes those new perspectives can challenge our existing cultural assumptions.  And those cultural assumptions can be so deeply ingrained in our way of thinking that, when we see someone acting differently than we would expect, it can be hard not to see their actions through our cultural lenses.

These kinds of cultural assumptions were clearly identified in a recent article about African American parenting written by Nancy Hill.  I got to know Nancy and her family when they joined the leadership team at Grace Chapel's East Lexington campus.  We have shared live together over the past year in both simple and significant ways.  As I have processed all of the tragedies of the shootings of young African American males in the past couple of years, Nancy and her husband Rendall are one of the families at Grace I think of as I process my thoughts and emotions.  This reality is no longer some abstract story in the news for me, but a struggle that this family - my friends - must live every day.  So I appreciated this window – an article she wrote that got picked up by US News - into her world as a wife and parent who finds it challenging many days to send her husband and young son out into the world.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-07-15/how-can-african-american-parents-keep-their-children-safe-from-the-police

It is so important to suspend judgment when we observe something we don’t understand. We need to maintain an attitude of learning, not just about parenting styles, but also as we encounter differences about time management, direct and indirect communication, hospitality, and so much more.  Let’s learn to ask the kinds of questions that build trust as we go deeper in this multicultural journey at Grace.

 

12345678910 ... 7374