When I first arrived at Marble, I was told that I was expected to write a weekly blog. My response was, “What’s a blog?” Vic Lindsey answered that a blog is an article that shares my thoughts on anything. “On anything?,” I questioned. “On anything,” he answered. “Sports, family, entertainment, politics, your favorite restaurant, religion, anything.” So, that’s what I’ve been doing for almost six years now. Every week I have been writing articles about pretty much anything.
I was thinking about that this past week and came to an interesting conclusion. I don’t know how many people read my blogs. But whoever you are, you may know me better than the folks who simply listen to my sermons. Sermons are about biblical texts. They are not about Michael, nor are they supposed to be. They are not about my ideas, my commitments, my philosophies, or my perspectives. Sermons are about biblical stories and principles and how they intersect the lives of those who listen. People do not come to church to hear what Michael thinks. They come to hear what the Christian Faith says. But blogs are different. As Vic said, they are about anything that interests the writer.
If you read back through my blogs, they are like mini sermons. That is intentional. I write about what interests me most, and that means I write most of all about the Christian Faith. More than anything else I write about Christianity’s perspective on the world. That being said, there’s still a lot of me in a blog. Not just theology, but me. Blogs give the writer a license to do that. I feel more freedom to say, “This is what I think.”
If you read my blogs, you sense my concern about and commitment to the environment. It’s a pertinent topic that no one any longer is free to ignore. Three hundred thousand people recently marched in NYC, calling for world political leaders to acknowledge (and do something about) global climate change. Thank God for them! I hope the world’s leaders took notice. How can they not? I don’t understand how any thinking person can any longer bury their head in the sand. The window of time to protect Mother Earth is growing smaller. God created the earth and said both (a) “It is good,” and (b) “I give you dominion (stewardship)” over it.
If you read my blogs, you sense my concern for children. One of every three pre-teenaged girls, and one of every five pre-teenaged boys, is physically or sexually abused by an adult. One hundred and twenty three thousand pre-teens in America sleep each night beneath bridges. Hundreds of thousands of children (mostly girls under the age of twelve) are literally enslaved in the sex trafficking industry. Jesus said of children, “To such as these belongs the Kingdom of God.” If we follow in His sandaled footsteps, we are not free to turn a deaf ear or blind eye to the alarming statistics about children in today’s world.
If you read my blogs, you sense my conviction that Love is the central theme that actually matters. And I’m not talking about Hallmark or Hollywood love. I’m talking about real deal, not easy, the least of these kind of loving. The simple truth is that if those who claim to believe in God would treat others with godly love, the problems that terrify us would cease to exist. Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or whatever else – your Holy Book calls you to love. If you are primarily motivated by anger, hatred, or vengeance, then I don’t care how vigorously you claim to be a person of Faith, you are unfaithful. God calls us to be people of compassion and forgiveness and patience and altruism and grace and mercy. God calls us to beat swords into plowshares. God calls us to help the poor and feed the hungry. God calls us to exercise kindness and to avoid judgment, revenge, and gossip. God calls us to love. Plain and simple, that’s the bottom line. If we love, we are of God. If we do not, then we are not.
If you read my blogs, you know how much I love my wife and kids, how much I love Marble Church, how much I love my history in NC and my current life in NYC, how much I love R&B music and 60s folk music, how much I love good food and good films, how much I love Duke athletics, how much I love this country and this world of ours, how much I love you, and how much I love Jesus. Those may not be earth-shattering revelations, but a least those are things that give you an insight into who and Whose I am.
So, I am grateful for that day when I asked Vic, “What’s a blog?,” and he answered that it is an article that shares my thoughts on anything. It is somehow cathartic for me to write blogs. And it is humbling to know that some of you actually read... and care.