Will Good Really Win?

 

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It’s been a hard week to have the tv on, or listen to the radio, or even to read the morning paper. Each day has carried fresh horror and violence, from religious extremism to the effects of mental illness, from random and tragic natural disaster to carefully planned and executed extinguishing of life.

One of my coping mechanisms when faced with a relentless barrage of bad news is to escape to another world — that is, to Netflix.

This past week, I’ve been in 1950’s Madrid, observing life at a department store, cheering on the seamstresses and delivery boys who work day and night, and shaking my fist at the selfish and scheming minority shareholders in the company who leaks scandals to National Enquirer to hamstring their opponents and make furtive phone calls from the smoky back rooms of bars.

Late in the season, I realized that this series’ power over me had less to do with scintillating dialogue or all-consuming love stories; the real center of this show is the fight between good and evil. A piece of me knows that because it’s a television show, and because it’s the love-lorn-style drama it is, that eventually, good will prevail. It’s a long road, and I know it will take till the very last episode, but somehow, the honest and good will win over the dark, and evil and scheming.

Back in the real world, I wonder, when a child at Disneyworld encounters an alligator — will good really win?

When a member of Parliament loses her life in broad daylight — will good really win?

When yet another friend is diagnosed with cancer — will good really win?

And these are to say nothing of the ache still present in Charleston a year later, and the raw wound in Orlando today.  And refugees from Syria, and mothers and babies in South and Central America living at the mercy of Zika.

How on earth will good ever win?

This is the same question that Elijah asks God in our Scripture passage this morning. Continue reading

“So, is it over now?”

Confederate_Flag-0e58fOver the summer, my husband and I trekked back to our homeland–the upper Midwest. It was right on the heels of the flag removal in our downtown, and so after covering the weather (requisite subject matter for any conversation in the Midwest), we were sometimes asked, a little awkwardly, “So that racism in the South–it’s over now, right?”

As if there was a stomach bug traveling around and the taking down of one sheet of sewn fabric had finally quashed it once and for all. Continue reading

what to say about the Charleston martyrs

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artwork via

three sermons that are worth chewing on this week:

“That your Gospel is more powerful than our hate, more powerful than our despair, more powerful than our pride, and more powerful than our delusions, we give you thanks O God.”  Confession (1)

In the face of Emmanuel AME Church, Naming Goliath (2)

“Last week in Charleston, however, was different. To be sure, it’s important not to romanticize or idealize the black church, or any church. All Christian groups are riven by Sin just like all other groups. But the black churches have suffered so extremely, and so unjustly, for so long, that they have achieved a maturity that seems almost superhuman.” “What’s in those lamps?” (3)