BY REV. DR. BRANDON MORROW
LEAD PASTOR, GOOD NEWS COMMUNITY CHURCH
We are living, raising kids, working, and attempting to thrive in the most segregated time in the postwar era. You might kindly, or loudly, disagree with that sentiment, but I would politely chime back in that we have not ever seen a combination like this before.
It is one of the most vocal seasons of partisanship within American politics, there's a global pandemic that carries its own emotions as you could tell from the comment section on social media platforms, and we are experiencing the responses of generations of systemic oppression. They surely have existed in some form or fashion, maybe one or two of them simultaneously, but we are living in an unprecedented age where it all gets bottled up together and plopped in our laps. What then are we to do?
Galatians 6:2, while very brief, should serve as a standard of unity for followers of Jesus caught in the eye of the storm that shall be dubbed 2020. The Apostle Paul writes that we are to "bear one another's burdens," but to bear one another's burdens isn't just to experience a diverse range of perspective, but it serves another purpose altogether. Paul actually continues to say that in doing so, we are fulfilling the law of Christ. It is by bearing the burdens of one another that we best love them and show our undying affection for what God has done for us through Christ Jesus.
I think in an age of vitriol, where we believe we have recused ourselves of all consequences of division, protected by our keyboards and blue light screens, we desperately need to return to the source of Paul's plea. Paul is reminding the church that they are to be dictated by a different ethic. There's hope and a great deal of resolve to be found in the fact that there's just a better way to live than the way we're currently living. It's more wholesome, more life giving, and it seeks to restore us to the best version of ourselves.
For Paul it was the Kingdom of God, the reality of Jesus and His rule and reign, that was the presiding ethic. It dictated how followers of Jesus were to live. They weren't high and mighty on their personal preferences, on their political affiliations, and explosive with their internet opinions, but yet they sought to love and care for those whom God called them to be in a relationship with. They were bearing the burdens of one another and in doing so they fulfilled the law of Jesus.
Before you jump into the social media hysteria, ask yourself the question, am I willing to lay down my wants, hopes, dreams, and even my civil liberties so that I may bear the burden of someone else, and in doing so fulfill the law of Christ, which is to love my neighbor and love God? An even harder question to answer will be: What is required of me to bear the burden of someone else?