Oh my beloved village, what a crazy world we live in! The world’s brokenness has been on full display. There are so many issues—injustice, racism, hatred, murder, disrespect, chaos, disease, political divide… and so on. But gang, there is only one problem—sin. What we teach our young folks at Maugansville Church is that sin is selfishness. It is the selfishness where you put yourself first, your desires, wants, thoughts, are your top priority. That means you have put God and your neighbors at a distant second or third. Sin, or selfishness, says “I matter more than anyone.” It means that we view ourselves not just as more important—but MOST important. All of the issues I mentioned above are caused by someone or a group acting as if they are the most important and relegating everyone else as not important.
When God created us, he did so in his image. That is, he made us to be like him. Our ultimate purpose is to put God’s characteristics on display for the whole world. Or to use churchy language—to glorify God. But sin, our selfishness, said that we would rather put our own glory on display, we wanted our decisions, our thoughts, ideas, and qualities to be on display for the world. Adam and Eve thought they were the most important and as their children, all of humanity has inherited that selfishness.
So what is the answer? Remember who we are. We are images of God, whose purpose is to show the world the goodness and glory of God. And right now, more importantly, it means that we also remember who our neighbors are: images of God. All of humanity, was created in God’s image. Imagine if we looked at each other right now, not as someone who agreed or disagreed with us, but as images of God. What would it be like if the police saw black men as God’s images? What would it be like if the protestors saw the police as God’s images? Could you imagine if President Trump and Joe Biden spoke to and about each other like they were speaking to images of God? It seems radical, but it is true. That is why Jesus told us that after we are fully and completely in love with God that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Because the truth is, we are no different, we are both images of God!
Oh my beloved village, we can begin this revival of ideas and lead the way. The Maugansville I grew up in was lily white. The only diversity was whether you were Mennonite or Brethren. But now, the Maugansville I am raising a family in is the most diverse area of Washington County! They are people of every shade and color from all over the world. And whether you think that they look like they are from Lancaster, Russia, Africa or Guatemala, the truth is, they look like God. Let’s treat each other that way. Let’s bring some of heaven and God’s glory to this broken mess.
Love ya Maugansville!