Christians Are Called To Justice
From the Swedish-accented tones of the formidable Greta Thunberg and her call to environmental responsibility to the political dilemmas in more nations than we care to count — uncertainty and controversey sit everywhere like kegs of gunpowder with wicks. Here, at the end of this decade, there are whispers of revolution and uncertainty in the spaces and corners of the neighborhoods that make up our globe. None of us know how peace and freedom sleep together, but, oh how we wish that they could and we pray that they would.
To this question of peace and freedom, theologian Christine Pohl offers a glimmer of insight, “Where communities of hospitality exist, we are signs: we are signs of hope that love is possible, that the world is not condemned to the struggle between oppressors and oppressed, that class and racial warfare is not inevitable.”
Pohl advocates for the power of hospitality to bring healing as we come to the same table, break bread, and share in the ancient habit of eating together. There is a beautiful grace here, an ancient mystery that we have need of rediscovering in our present uncertainty.
The question is how do we practically offer hospitality? We are busy people and having a stranger over for dinner seems anything but transformational. As I live and minister in countries that are post-communist or post-Christian, and some now beyond post-modern, much of my time is spent in conversations about how the church can be a part of bringing the good of God to this new landscape of post-Christianity or even non-Christianity. The scope of these dialogues spans multiple and complicated cultures and a variety of strategies that have both theological and practical factors. Economic, political, geographical realities do create an imbalance of opportunity; some countries, some cultures groan with deeper tones, brokenness creating greater havoc, cutting deeper wounds. But in the end, the blatant truth is that there are systems of brokenness powerfully working against the good grace of God everywhere. The world longs to see the signs of hope that Pohl points to through hospitality.
In an article, ‘Refugees as Guests and Hosts: Towards a Theology of Mission Among Refugees and Asylum Seekers’, missions Professor…