Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 12:1-3
This morning we got yet another phone call with this not so subtle reminder to vote: “If God’s children won’t speak up for Him, who will?”
I never really felt that I had to speak up for God. Sure, he had his prophets and prophetesses, burning bushes, and even a donkey spoke on one occasion. It’s even been recorded that he needed no such thing to speak for him, unlike the idols that could not see, speak, or listen and had to be carried and decorated and offered to, He was the God that sees, the God that speaks, the God that hears.
Surely, a God like that couldn’t have been caught off-guard as the Civil Rights movements as all kinds of groups were demanding change. Even in the decades since, it’s doubtful that anything we have done was either a surprise or a wrench thrown into his own plans. He’s already shown skill in manipulating both sides, ‘hardening Pharaoh’s heart’ as it were to challenge all the gods of the Egyptian pantheon. Is he ‘hardening’ our hearts in preparation for some spectacle?
I’d like to think that in recent years, my heart has been softened to the plight of the sorts of people that often get overlooked. The sort of policies in the phone call tend to burden people beyond capacity and deny them assistance to bear the load. I don’t see immoral people who ‘deserve’ such harsh treatment, but people who just want their best chance to enjoy life just as I do. Sometimes Christians harden their hearts to this sort of people because they perceive them to be sinners of the worst sort who have to accept the consequences of their actions. If not in this life, then in the next.
They make the God that sees, speaks, and hears seem weak – like one who needs as many of us as possible to speak up for him because when it comes down to it; they believe that he cannot speak for himself.