Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I am participating in training for community organizing and one of the first questions we are trained to ask is, “what keeps you up at night?” In other words, what kinds of things do you think about and/or worry about especially at night. Over the course of my life, I have worried about many things, money, my spouse’s illness, living on my own, gun violence, lack of mental health awareness and treatment, and social justice issues. All of these are powerful issues and certainly keep us up at night. Sometimes they can be completely overwhelming and threaten to bring us to despair or even worse.
Over the course of my life I have learned that if I tackle one thing and focus on things I can control then I find peace and even some sleep. There are so many things we cannot control and so many things that seem larger than life, especially at night!
I am part of a clergy caucus for Power Lehigh Valley which is an interfaith collaboration to address social justice issues on a local level from a faith perspective. We are just in the forming stage and soon will have elected leadership within the state and locally which will allow us to focus on the social justice issues in our community. Uniting we can absolutely make a difference in our community. We can take what feels overwhelming and work together to create good change in our own backyard.
I have long said that the mainline churches have kept silent to the point that we allowed ourselves to become irrelevant in our own communities. It is good to join with likeminded individuals and work to bring our faith into the public square. We really do have a voice, a commission from Jesus to go out and share God’s love and forgiveness with everyone. We have a commission to make disciples of all nations. If I am honest with myself, I have not done this. I have been afraid to create conflict or speak out in case someone would judge me.
God has gifted me with many gifts to share, as God has done for each and every one of you to share. We are blessed to be within this community of faith. I hope that you will join with me in learning about issues of social justice and other issues that keep you up at night. With God’s help and guidance, we can work together to address these issues and in doing so, may we all find peace, and some good rest.