I was talking with a friend the other evening, and I asked him about how it is possible that people can do unthinkable acts of violence. His response was that we are all a split second away from doing the same, meaning we all have the capability, but don’t allow ourselves to do it. That is an unsettling response, to say the least. I took away from this conversation that there is no us and them, only us.
This is what it means to be Jesus in our world. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Now we are the visible expression of Jesus in the world. Jesus lived out “there is no them,” which I believe is the heart of his inaugural statement in Luke 4:16-21.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to preach good news to the poor,
to proclaim release to the prisoners
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to liberate the oppressed,
and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.(v. 18-19)
It was as a human being and living within a system that separated people that he sought to bring God’s salvation. This declaration of ministry sought to close the gap that perpetuated the us and them mentality.
If we are honest with ourselves, we can recognize our own poverty, captivity, blindness, and oppression, but, as well, we can receive the Lord’s favor and extend it to others, embracing the “us” in us all. God’s salvation is only a split second away.
Grace and peace,