Z’ekah for #DACA

In light of yet another divisive political decision (this time the rescinding of DACA), I’d like to invite you to consider a narrative way to think about the positions we take on issues where there are marginalized, oppressed, or powerless people involved.  This narrative arises from a compassionate God of justice who invites us to remember…and to participate. We begin with a Hebrew root word — tsaaq.  This describes a cry or a shriek when an individual or a group of people are calling out desperately for help.  I will use the transliterated z’ekah here to describe this word as the act of crying out. I invite you to follow this trajectory with me in God’s unfolding narrative. After the fall of humanity… when sin has tainted God’s perfect creation, we see how quickly and how far humanity has fallen. What began as an intimate partnership, in which Adam and Eve are invited to co-care for God’s creation, devolves into a tragic question that still plagues humanity today. It is a question on the lips of Cain who has just committed a tragic deed of injustice in murdering his brother. And here we come to our Hebrew word – z’ekah.  The blood of Abel z’ekah’d to God.  It’s a strange description but the powerless blood of dead Abel cried out for justice in the face of a horrific oppression.  Perhaps more disturbing is Cain’s response – a tragic question posed to the Creator – Am I my brother’s keeper?  Injustice. […]

More

One of my favorite things about following Jesus is this:  There. Is. Always. More. Let those words sink in for a moment.  No matter where you are in your journey right now, these words are true. But it’s so easy to settle. Perhaps because we’re satisfied far too easily.  We find ourselves glazed over staring at a screen in our hand. Measuring our worth in “likes.” Just doing the minimum. Checking off the boxes. This lyric in Derek Webb’s song, Wedding Dress, captures it bluntly: “I am so easily satisfied by the call of lovers so less wild That I would take a little cash Over your very flesh and blood” We seem to so easily trade the real for the artificial.  This is the work of a thief determined to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) fullness of life that has been offered by the author of life to each of us. It seems that more times than not it’s subtle. Vibrant faith gradually becoming jaded. Joy creeping toward cynicism. Passion devolving into boredom. “This is as good as it gets,” the enemy whispers.  Slowly stealing life, killing hope, and eroding confidence in the Father’s life-giving grace. The thief enters by “some other way” (John 10:1).  His desire is to infiltrate.  His hope is for the sheep to slowly begin to trust his voice. His determination is to lead the sheep astray – away from the shepherd who knows them best and knows what’s best for them. In response to the […]

The Refugee

Many stories about refugees have been emerging over the past few days. You may have heard this one but it’s worth sharing again. An evil leader in a small middle eastern town caused local terror by doing the unthinkable – killing infants. One of the families there was able to miraculously escape by crossing the border with their infant. They fled to a nearby country that they hoped beyond hope would take them in as refugees. The irony was that this country had once enslaved their ancestors, creating a tension that made everyone extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully, because this receiving country apparently had reasonable policies in place despite this historic tension, they took them in. And the family found life-saving refuge. Some have debated the claim. But let’s be clear. Jesus was a refugee. And the implications mean something for today. Make no mistake. Mary and Joseph fled from terror with an infant Jesus. Egypt had every reason to refuse them because of extreme past tension. They did not. Perhaps they actually had reasonable policies in place. Either way, could they have ever known that as they allowed them entry, they were opening their doors to the Savior of the world?  Oh the irony. This same nation whose leader had once killed Hebrew babies now took in a Hebrew baby whose own leader was killing…Hebrew babies. “But that was another time, different circumstances, and THAT infant was the actual Messiah,” we might all too quickly object. And then we remember.  We remember that refugee […]