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The Resistance Prays

December 4, 2018
By Rev. Alexis James Waggoner

Today's Top Story
"Lame-duck Republican legislatures in two Midwestern states where Democrats seized key state offices in November are trying to kneecap the incoming leaders and change election rules, aiming to consolidate GOP power despite the election results," reports the Huffington Post.
"And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come." - Matthew 24:11-14
While Some Cling to Scraps of Power, May Our Love Not Grow Cold
  • When those who are most comfortable in power begin to see their status falling, even the smallest challenge can make them hang on even tighter. In the face of this, we are called to love.
  • Because I was raised in a conservative, fundamentalist tradition, I am familiar with and wary of interpretive moves that a) over-modernize the stories scripture tells about specific historical events and b) automatically put one political party on the side of Jesus and the other on the side of false prophets. I want to refrain from both these tendencies but still look at what this passage can say to our context today - a context in which those aligned with institutional power are holding on to it at the expense of people seeking justice.
  • This passage is written about the fall of the Second Temple - a very real event that took place in the year 70, so we needn’t read it apocalyptically as pertaining to some sort of contemporary cataclysm. Rather, I think we can read it as a call to love: in the face of lawlessness, in the face of false prophets.
  • The author of Matthew tells us that love that endures to the end will be told throughout the world, and will ensure our salvation. Again, I don’t read this apocalyptically, but as a call for radical love that extends into and through the death-throes of the status quo.
  • The power grabs in Wisconsin and Michigan are people trying to cling ever more tightly to what is being taken away from them. As we see an increase in lawlessness, may our love not grow cold. May we seek to bring the good news of gospel to where it is needed most, even to spaces where the powerful are hanging on with all they’ve got.
There are protests happening in Wisconsin and Michigan, but lame-duck sessions are happening throughout the country and on a national scale. Here are things to watch out for over the next month or so. 
We acknowledge that false prophets can arise from any location, and we know that we need your discernment, God, to lead us as we seek your good. Give us the wisdom to follow the right voices in this contentious time, and equip us with love that endures to the end. In your name - Amen.
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