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A Pastoral Response to This Week’s Politics

Rev. Wes Mullins, Senior Pastor

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Last Tuesday, many lashed out in anger after North Carolina became the 30th state to ban gay marriage and a select few Colorado Republicans blocked the sure passage of civil unions in our state­­—all of that in one day. Then, while many were still drafting angry letters and Facebook posts, events shifted again, and there was a resurgence of hope. At the time of this writing, it is still unclear what will become of civil unions in Colorado. What I do know deeply is that Christ works for justice and that it will come in time. We cannot be lazy or apathetic about the future, and we must also remember to take all setbacks as just that—a setback, an opportunity to adjust course and to give it another go.

While I completely understand the anger that was expressed this week, I believe we must look to the example of Christ and learn to properly channel that anger toward justice and love. Jesus lived in a world filled with injustice and hatred. The kinds of feelings we have experienced are feelings that Jesus almost certainly faced. As the epitome of compassion, no one has ever felt more empathy for others than Christ—in fact, feeling what it is like to be human was a large part of Jesus’ purpose in becoming the Incarnate One.

Many of you know that I am an avid water-skier and boater (as much as I can be without actually owning a boat!). When you are driving a boat with a skier who is in the water preparing to ski, you are a large part of their success or failure. If you gun the engine too hard, you risk hurting them or jerking the ski rope right out of their hands. If you start off too slowly, they will drag in the water too long and eventually fail due to fatigue. Furthermore, your course matters greatly. If you begin to pull them to one side or the other as they are first standing up, they will fall to that side. It is important that you, as the driver, set a very straight course until they are completely up and on top of the water.

Working for justice is a lot like pulling a skier out of the water. Gun it too hard, and you risk damaging the cause; if you don’t pull hard enough, then you might end up exhausting everyone. You have to set the perfect course and do everything just right. Sound hard? Yes, well, in fact, it often takes experienced water-skiers a couple of tries. Likewise, justice takes multiple efforts and the confluence of several factors all going just right.

I firmly believe that God is at work in all of this, but there are lessons to be learned and lives to be changed along the way. I pray that by the time you read this, we will be one step closer to civil unions in Colorado. But, even if it looks as though we have taken several steps backward like the recent events that have unfolded in North Carolina, remember that God is going to circle around in the boat, we will grab that ski rope once again and give it another go. And who except God knows if our next try might just be our last?

So I say to you today, live with the compassionate heart of Christ even as we work, pray, and hope for justice to come. Give it another go, all the while placing your trust in God.

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