Following the Prophets
Andrew Larsen serves with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.
As the world continues to grapple with the health crisis, this is our moment. This is our moment. This is our moment to reimagine a future built on the values of our faith – love, justice, joy, and hope. A future that embodies the grace God extends to all communities and individuals. A kingdom that is more focused on a KINdom. Putting community and relationship above any one particular power structure, government, church, or institution. Of course, we yearn for comfort and stability, a sense of normalcy during these tumultuous and troubling times. But let us not let a ‘return to normal’ lull is unto inaction and placate our desires to turn the world upside down. This is our moment. When the voices of the prophets can ring out loud and clear to guide us down new and unfamiliar paths.
It can be deeply challenging to even imagine a different world for ourselves. Unpacking our own biases and preconceived notions is a difficult spiritual practice. It involves unlearning the systems of colonialism, white supremacy, and exploitive capitalism that have shaped our entire lives. But as the issues that have been plaguing us for a long time come to the surface even more poignantly during the pandemic, this may be the best opportunity to attempt this exciting process. Let us do the hard work for the sake of our siblings facing injustice throughout the world. Let us do the hard work for the planet’s ecosystems, environments, and climate. Let us do the hard work because God calls us to it.
This is our moment to stand with our siblings in the Philippines. Our siblings with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), who are working tirelessly to reshape their communities and country around the values of love. Fighting authoritarianism and state-sponsored violence with messages of peace and justice. This work puts a target on the church, and we must stand in solidarity with them. The current government administration and many within power are threatened by the good news and prophetic teachings that would turn over the current status quo.
In a recent publication from the UCCP, they reaffirm their call to discipleship. A commitment to the values they want to shape their world in the face of growing concerns. They proclaim the following, “The UCCP, along with other churches, have already sacrificed many of its fine sons and daughters, those who champion the rights of the disadvantaged. Despite the attacks, the UCCP and other churches and church organizations have never wavered in accompanying the poor and the oppressed.” Let us not waiver in our support of the UCCP as well. This is our moment to turn the world upside down and let the justice of God reign supreme.
Andrew Larsen serves with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.