Could it be that as soon as the church finds itself on the top side of history we must immediately turn, look around, and go sit with those who are on the bottom side? What if the only way to enter into the presence of God and remain with God is by following those who are dispossessed? Israel was always closest to God when they were the lost bride in need of redemption. When the people were lifted out of oppression and rose to power, almost immediately did they turn their backs on the one who had saved them.
In the midst of all the talk about race relations, community policing, inequity, poverty, crime, and yes, even outright systemic racism, could it be that Christians are missing the point? All of us, White, Black, Asian, Latin, and more? As we are now 12 days before Christmas, I’m reminded of the ways in which God entered into the underside of history, and everyone seems to have missed the point. Mary and Joseph ended up in a stable, which means they didn’t find hospitality from the rich or the poor. Herod tried to kill Jesus, but the wise men did nothing to protect him. The shepherds came and worshiped, and then returned to their fields, filled with joy, but presumably not to change the course of their lives. Even those who may have had some idea who this child was were left untransformed by his presence.
What needs to change in us so that we can finally be humble before those God sends to us as messengers, “Angelos,” to teach us and leads us to peace?