We don’t have to be perfect. God knows all too well that perfection is not achievable this side of the grave. But we can cultivate a heart willing to do God’s will and obedient to God’s commandments. That’s something all of us can do. That’s why being part of a community of faith is so important. We need one another for support and encouragement in those moments when we falter. We aren’t called to embark upon this journey by ourselves.
Our call is not just to long for better angels in our nation, but for us to get about the business of being the better angels.
“Sometimes prayer is understood as a way of getting out of whatever your vision of eternal torment might be. Sometimes prayer is understood as getting God to give us what we want. But Jesus seems to tell one curious disciple that prayer can be a way to change what we want.”
How are we going to save the planet? It seems like I read an article on this every week with new advice — almost like a new dietary fad: “follow this one wacky tip to melt your belly weight and stop climate change.” The answers feel more hollow all the time, as clickbait is wont to feel.
I say the parable of the Samaritan’s kindness is a migrant story. It’s another story set very intentionally along a road, and one that very intentionally includes a foreigner. And it’s told on the heels of seventy of Jesus’s disciples’ having been sent on an empty-handed mission through their world to see where they find welcome and where they do not.