By The Rev. Herman Yoos, Bishop
This past week, in his article “What’s Wrong with Radicalism,” New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote some words that I think help frame the symbolism of Christ’s birth into the world for us today.
“We are living in an age of radicalism.” Both the radical right and the radical left “are more intent on denouncing the people they hate than on addressing the concrete problems before them.”
Today’s radicals conduct themselves on the presumption… To get anything done, the radical has to commit evil acts for good causes.
Brooks’s answer was “it means believing that life can be more like a conversation than a war if you open by starting a conversation. It means collectively focusing on problems and not divisively destroying people. It means believing that love is a genuine force in human affairs and that you can be effective by appealing to the better angels of human nature.”
The incarnation of God’s word, through Jesus, tells us that God’s answer to our human brokenness, sin, and hate was not to condemn the world but to enter into human flesh.
In John I we read, “what has come into being in him was life and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it… And the word became flesh and lived among us.”
That is the Good news for today. Jesus did not come into the world to join a radical, political fringe group. He came to embody the radical love of God. Luke, in chapter 6 writes:
“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person… If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” – Luke 6:27-30 (The Message)
This is not always easy for us. It can be far from giving us warm and fuzzy feelings and it is not about filling pews.
No, he came to reveal to us the power of God’s forgiveness and grace that changes human hearts from the inside out. He was born a vulnerable baby to reveal to us that God’s love and light in Jesus are greater than the power of hate and division!
May we live in this light and share this love and forgiveness with all those around us.
We as your Synod Staff are grateful for the loving partnerships that we share across the South Carolina Synod and for your prayers and all the ways you bear witness to the love of Jesus Christ!
The Rev. Herman Yoos
The Rev. Ginny Aebischer
The Rev. Eric Wolf
The Rev. Rick Carter
The Rev. Ozzie Herlong
Neal F. Fischer