My 13-year-old is currently studying moral development, philosophy and values (the gift of homeschooling with the amazing Elizabeth Vice as her Montesorri guide). We’ve talked a lot these past few weeks about Christian values, our own personal values and how we live them out in the world. As we come up to Inauguration Day, I’ve been thinking a good bit about the values we’ve seen on display these past four years and our deep desire for a change in the way we live out our values as a country.
As a church, Two Rivers is crystal clear about our values. We are committed to inclusion, justice, equity and belonging. We value being creative, beautiful, authentic, vulnerable and inclusive. We live our values in very specific and concrete ways: we ask what voices in our community are being silenced and we center them. We offer acts of solidarity to support those in need in our community in the ways they ask. We offer the radical welcome of Jesus to LGBTQIA+ folx in every part of our community. We make space for those who are grieving or sick or just plain tired to rest.
The values of Jesus are most plainly revealed in the passage we know as The Beattitudes, Jesus clearly sets out this vision of a community that upends the status quo, that privileges those left out and on the margins, and promises God’s presence to those the world looks down upon. As we enter this new year and a new administration, they are values that we can all adopt as we go about the work of building up the kin-dom and Reign of God.
Join me today all day long for prayer on the main Two Rivers Church Facebook page. Every few hours we will gather to pray for our President, Vice President and elected officials, our country, and our world. We will remember those who have died because of COVID-19 and its effects. We will look for hope in a world that is still reeling from terror, pain and hate. We will walk into this new season together.
In the meantime, may the words of Jesus lead us and guide us as we create a community of justice, equity, inclusion and belonging.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.