Activism can be as heroic as it is harmful. The chance to exercise one’s right is a cautionary tale between making a difference and furthering division. However, activism has to be more than voicing dissent. Rather, it means finding ways to be part of a solution for the common good.
I like to re-imagine faith as a way to be active in the world. Mission Hills' Rhythms provide 7 ways to practice and proclaim the presence of God. These Rhythms offer a radical-yet-ordinary alternative — like a public criticism — in a world of greed, individualism, and fear. You want to know God more? Experiment with Renewal, Gratitude, and Community. You want others to experience Christ? Practice Compassion, Generosity, Hospitality, and Apprenticing. The Rhythms are simply one way we can endure life’s troubles and seek God’s peace in the world.
At the end of our Year One Party last week, a Muslim mom & dad thanked me for allowing their family to enjoy such an nice event. We’d already had a meal together and two separate conversations. Now, recognizing that others made such a special event possible for them, they expressed their sincere gratitude. My reply was simply, “one of the ways we practice faith is through hospitality…not just with our friends but with new faces. We see God as gracious and loving us just as we are. So as God welcomes us, we want to welcome others. So thank YOU for joining us!” In that moment, the immigration crisis didn’t feel so overwhelming. Nothing was solved but a bridge was built.
We’re currently in the midst of a “Have 2/Share 1” initiative. John the Baptist said to the good church-folk of his day, “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3). Regardless of our citizenship, education, or family background we all have needs. But maybe the best way to address our own need is to shorten the gap and meet a need of someone else.