The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty. It is madness. You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. -Anne Lamott Fear,
Fear, propaganda, scarcity, the effects of colonialism helped create the single story in Rwanda that the Hutus and the Tutsi were enemies. In the video above we hear the powerful message Phil Evans shared in worship last fall. It highlights how dangerous it is to be certain that other people are bad, wrong, evil. In his faith share Phil invites us to learn from their experiences and to practice forgiveness.
When we let go of the categories, biases and single stories that get in the way of us forgiving one another we lose the weight of needing to “play god”. Sharing his powerful experience Phil invites to be open to how God is alive and at work.
This weekend we ask God to increase in us trusting faith and intuition as we are released from a need for certainty. In times that have become increasingly polarized into us vs them, “you are either for us/or against us”, Phil has a powerful message I pray you will take to heart.
Letting go of the weight of the need to be certain, is asking God to help us let go of the need to be “right”. It’s the type certainty that creates a single story of who God loves, who God forgives, who Jesus has come into the world to save from which we ask to be released. The certainty that allows us to put ourselves, others, or even God in a box is heavy. When we label ourselves or others by definitions that limit any of us to a single story we are in danger of creating the “othering” of which Phil speaks in his faith share.
To “other” people as a first step in dehumanizing them which then can allow us to hurt, harm, discriminate against them. When we live believing that God loves only some people or just the people we love; it is not faith it is sin. This is not what God desires for us. Instead we are invited into the struggle to move beyond our own fears and biases. We are called to seek instead a trusting faith. We become open to getting connected with the inner wiring of our intuition designed to connect us with God and one another. We then live lighter and freer.
Join us in worship this weekend as we hear how Jesus has come to bring good news to the poor, set the captive free, recovery of sight to the blind, let the oppressed go free and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Jesus has come to forgive us and set us free. The weight of the need for certainty and to be in charge can be lifted by the power of the Spirit. Then we are set free to love, serve and grow together. May the Spirit of the Lord be upon you as you practice loving God with everything you’ve got- mind, body, spirit and loving your neighbor as yourself.