BY JUSTIN WHITE | August 3, 2020
Sunday’s Readings

“What do you think is going to happen?” 

Almost every conversation I’ve had over the past months presents this question. Depending on the context, the question could refer to concerns about amassing students, faculty, and staff during a global pandemic. Or it could refer to local, national, and federal responses to a reckoning with racism and police brutality. Or—and for me this is the heaviest one to ponder—it could refer to the presidential election this year.  

freed from knowing

Regardless of the context, the question is centered around how not knowing can be terrifying.  Especially when we are navigating issues that impact our lives. This is when, for me, being hopeful and faithful becomes difficult. How do I, we, remain hopeful and faithful as we continue to see COVID-19 cases rise? How do I, we, remain hopeful and faithful while at the time I am writing this, the officers that killed Breonna Taylor have not been arrested? How do I, we, remain hopeful and faithful knowing that there is a chance that a presidential re-election is possible? God asks us to be hopeful and faithful, but when you sit in a deserted place with family, friends, and strangers and there is no “food”…what do you do? 

The people in that deserted place in yesterday’s Gospel did not know what was going to happen, but they were fed. The disciples did not know how they were going to feed those people, but they witnessed a miracle. Jesus, after hearing about his cousin’s death, probably did not think he had the capacity to care for a large crowd—but he cured and fed those gathered.

God does not ask us to know what will happen. God asks us to remember the covenant—that we cannot be separated from God’s love. In a way this frees us to focus on what is truly in our control.  

No matter how bleak the situation, no matter how much food is left, no matter the pain of mourning, God’s love exists. It is with this love that we confidently, firmly, and compassionately forge forward with justice, assemble community, protect the vulnerable, hold accountable those in power, and build the Kingdom of God.

3 replies
  1. Avatar
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    In these testing times, it is a blessing and a privilege to have life in our bodies. Where there is life, there is hope. Long live life and long live hope.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Elaine says:

    Hello Justin,
    I’m sure you would agree that in the end, asking “What do you think is going to happen?” is like watching the “news” tonight only to wake up in the morning and see how it has all changed. Nothing to bet on-nothing to waste your time on. If we are hopeful, we are free. If we are faithful, we are free. Why? Because we have placed our trust in the only solid source of hope and faith there is-Almighty God.
    I was a little concerned by your question of how do we remain faithful and hopeful knowing that there is a chance that a presidential re-election is possible. Justin, if we have faith, hope and trust in God then we don’t need to ask that question. If God knows the number of hairs on our heads then surely He knows our concerns and needs etc. If you worry about a presidential re-election then deep down are you wanting control-wanting things to turn out your way? But, if you pray and converse with God about your concerns and give it all to Him how do you know that things won’t in the long run turn out for your best regardless of who the next president is? You don’t know. I don’t know. Because, in the end, with prayer things do turn out for your best but perhaps not in the agenda you might choose. We will see that some day but in the meantime we must trust and give it all to God. In your conversations express that trust. Ask the Holy Spirit for help in understanding and pray that you will be able to literally give it all to God-let it go. God does answer our prayers. God is never early and never late. Trust that God has something in store for you in the next election and wait and see what it is. Trust and feel and know that freedom. God values each and every life there is/was. If we are made in the image and likeness of God then it might behoove us to pay attention to a presidential candidate who values life at every stage-from conception to natural death.
    As you say in your article, we cannot be separated from God’s love. Not “in a way” as you say but definitely this “frees us to focus on what is truly in our control.” “God’s love exists” because God is love. With a weapon such as love we are in the best of hands.
    Blessings on you, Justin. Thanks for your article.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Mr Anon says:

    Society today is too soft to deal and tackle real issues, we spend too much time hiding behind religion, technology, signs and false ideology to try to get a 1 up on the other side. That is fact not fiction and using God has a tool is a method to try intimidate those that have fallen for fake news and preying on peoples emotions is morally wrong and needs to stop. Has for Taylor she was a unfortunate victim of the company she kept and if it wasn’t the officer that made a decision after been fired upon, maybe that lifestyle would of been someone else who are we to judge and become jury. The question people need to start asking is What would you of done if it was you that was fired upon and you were the officer ? Will you condemn violence vs police ? ( no you won’t so stop been narrow minded and playing victim ) the differences are you have more then 2 seconds to think and will most likely never be in the officers position in your life, so less judgement more understanding in the difficulty the police face daily and even worse at this time. Over the next 2 weeks I will be seeing that 250k worth of food and resources reach those in poverty in Kentucky it’ll be a rush but hopefully will be done. God Bless…..less judgement is the key to equality.

    Reply

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