I am a Branch
This past weekend at Southeast Christian Church, Kyle Idleman spoke on John 15:5.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
You can watch the whole thing here- Be the Branch.
I know that when they planned this session, it wasn’t going to be about the events of this week-but Kyle tied it all together wonderfully. We need to have compassion and sacrificial love for people. ALL People.
Social media was buzzing with loads of messages, some positive, some grossly divisive. As if you are not able to support those who serve and protect AND those marginalized at the same time. My heart was breaking.
Brené Brown posted this on facebook and instagram-
I woke up this morning looking for someone to blame. Someone to hate. Someone who I could make the single target of my fear about the officers killed in Dallas and what happened to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It was such a desperate feeling to want to discharge the uncertainty and scarcity. Then it dawned on me that this is the exact drive that fueled what’s happening right now.
Instead of feeling hurt we act out our hurt. Rather than acknowledging our pain, we inflict it on others. Neither hate nor blame will lead to the justice and peace that we all want – it will only move us further apart. But we can’t forget that hate and blame are seductive. Anger is easier than grief. Blame is easier than real accountability. When we choose instant relief in the form of rage, we’re in many ways choosing permanent grief for the world.
Anger is easier than grief.
Blame is easier….
So true. Trying to find single targets of our fear is a breeding ground for the unrest, anger and pain all around us.
I can’t begin to KNOW what it feels like to be subject to systematic racism. But, I can try to understand. I can allow my heart to be broken on their behalf and reach out in love and compassion to search for solutions and change.
This message is all around me this week.
My family is doing a bible study by Jefferson Bethke and this weeks video talked of what happens when we choose something other than God to Idolize. When we think that Republicans are going to cure all this countries ills, Democrats become the demon. When we root our identity in legalistic or fundamentalist thought, the opposite of that becomes the enemy. It can happen with sports teams, it can happen with ANYTHING.
When we are focused on God and rooted in him, SIN is the enemy. NOT people.
As Christians,we are called to LOVE God and LOVE People.
Friday morning, I went to work broken. I couldn’t open my mouth with out weeping. I was thinking about how the black community felt, how the policemen and their families felt, all the pain, YEARS of pain. Anger boiling over, down the streets and I just wept.
One of my coworkers told me to get over it. Feeling that way wasn’t going to do anyone any good. I believed her-for a moment.
Until Sunday morning hearing the words in church-“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
As long as I am rooted in Christ, I can be strong AND compassionate. I can have empathy AND enact change. I can feel and not be afraid.
I am a branch.