How’s your side of the planet? How was/is your day? I snatched a nap under a pretty tree that made me smile, so that’s a win. We made it to another week, so that’s a win too. 🙂
This week’s wind down may sting a bit, OK? Cool.
Remember when you finally completed a math problem only to hear “Check your work” from the teacher? Math wasn’t my strong subject, so I checked my work repeatedly to the point of obsession. As for the “check your work” mantra, it’s applicable in more than academic arenas. I believe God is encouraging us to do that very thing during this pandemic season.
What do I mean? I’m glad you asked. 🙂
Sunday is a fellowship day for many Christians. We sing songs of praise, ask the love of Jesus to saturate our lives, and pray for expedited miracles. We exhort, cry, and pledge to be more like the One who saved us. We review teachings of Christ, catch up with fellow church members, and proceed into the week after a hearty Sunday dinner (which really happens at lunch time, but I digress). Unfortunately, the rest of that week brings a slew of words that do not exemplify the very thing we commemorated on Sunday. I’ve heard the following commentary while frolicking in the public on a Sunday afternoon or during a workday:
“That’s what’s wrong with America… they just let anybody in.”
“The Mexicans are taking over.”
“They need to go back to their own country.”
“They come here illegally and get away with it.”
“Well, I did it and so can they. We got to stop giving handouts.”
Sidebar: That’s one of my pet peeves when discussing social issues. Say who you mean instead of shooting “they’s” and “them’s” around folks like stray bullets.
Now, I could dissect those statements better than a frog in a high school biology class, but I won’t. My point is that we have ethereal (or ritual) experiences on Sunday and barrage a group of people with the same tongue that blessed God. We can’t possibly think that is OK.
Here’s how God sounds in my creative mind –
“So, you don’t like them, huh? You don’t want them to live next to you? They’re fine until they date your son or daughter? That’s right… you don’t see color and love everybody. Yeah, I heard that line last week. Prove it. Love them like you love yourself.”
You know I believe the Word of God applies to real life, so check out James 1:26.
“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”James 1:26, The Holy Bible, New Living Translation
That’s straight from the brother and former mocker of Jesus. James, who saw his resurrected brother, says your claims of faith are worthless if you don’t control your tongue. Since the tongue expresses what it is in the heart, there lies the reason to “check your work.” To check the work of your hands and make sure it matches the beat of your heart… the heart that celebrates Christ on Sundays.
It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and I’ve been reflecting on the grit it takes to be Hispanic and Latinx in America. To be born here and assumed to be born elsewhere. To be bilingual or to speak broken English the best you can. To navigate homogeneous spaces where you may not be welcome. To be stereotyped as being less than a contributing member to society. To be mislabeled as a non-citizen when you have your credentials. To serve in this country’s military while waiting on citizenship approval. Remember that commentary up there? Does that sound like Sunday? Does that sound like the love of Jesus?
If you need a starting point, here are three quick items that may need a checked.
- Everyone that “looks Mexican” is not Mexican. Beware of this assumption.
- Everyone that “looks Mexican” is not beneath your social class.
- If you can appropriate it, you can learn about it and honor it properly (food, music, holidays, etc.).
When we say we want Jesus to be in our lives, that means all of it… especially our habits. I know they’re comfortable, but they aren’t traits of Who we worship.
Check your words. Check your work. Check your heart.
I love you and I’m praying for you.
Peace & Thanks for listening!