Everyday we face choices. Choices like:
Starbucks Coffee or Wawa Coffee?
Giant or Wegman’s?
Comcast or Verizon?
Gritty or Phanatic?
Dunkin or Krispy Kreme?
Wid or widout?
But many of the choices we make run deeper than simply coffee preference or your feelings on cheese wiz. Life is full of big choices. Choices that brand us. Choices that mark our lives. Choices that shape how we experience our world and interact with others. Choices like:
In-person connection or Online safety?
Safety or Friendship?
Protection or Connection?
Blue lives or Black Lives?
Businesses or Hospitals?
Personal rights or Protecting the vulnerable?
News (according to these people) or News (according to those people)?
Cyberschool or In-person school?
Support for the unemployed or job creation?
Government responsibility or personal responsibility?
Elephants or Donkeys?
Cities or Countryside?
Justice or Mercy?
We live in an ‘EITHER/OR’ world.
We have a ‘BOTH/AND’ God.
Look back at the list and you will see an “OR” that a world without God will bully us into choosing sides on. But look back at that list and think, “Which side does God choose?” Does God value safety or does God value connection, or does it have to be “EITHER/OR” at all?
A world without God (or shall we say, ‘that has forgotten God’) demands that you choose a side.
A world without God then bullies those who are on the other side.
And a world without God makes us into bullies towards the other side.
But with God, it is different.
God chooses safety AND friendship, connection AND protection, responsibility, both personal AND government, he loves those in the cities AND those in the countryside. God doesn’t start with EITHER/OR. Neither should we.
Here is how Project 938 is going to practice this during the month of August.
We are choosing safety AND friendship, connection AND protection. One of our key values is BUILDING COMMUNITY. Central to our strategy is “SAFE ENVIRONMENTS.”
Don’t let yourself become an “EITHER/OR” person.
We can do both. We, each of us, have to. God did. Think about it. The holy creator of the universe, who has the ability to judge and condemn this world in its sinful rebelliousness against Him and His love, entered into this world. Of course... nobody really understood it. Why? Our hands were in the cookie jar of life. The entire world then and now are subject to the greatest cosmic “you're busted,” there ever was. If there was ever one who was unsafe, it is the Creator God in the presence of a rebellious creation, looking for ways to work around and subvert his authority.
Yet, God in the flesh was not scary. Jesus, entering into our world and emerging into humanity from infancy, transforming the world through love, is both the most threatening being in the world and at the same time, the safest.
We, his followers, must find a way to serve Him, creating connection that is also protection. We cannot stop building community and we must not perpetuate a deadly virus.
We have to figure out a way!
So, here is where we start.
We will start with connection that is also protection. This month, we will have five safe ways to gather, have fun, and build community. Yes, it will be different. We are choosing connection, but not at the price of protection. We will use social distance. We will sometimes use masks. We will protect the safety of one another not because we are minions to an oppressive government, but because we aren’t omniscient and we “will choose to consider others as more valuable than ourselves” (Phil 2:4).
We will not let the virus win. We will not submit to a world of EITHER/OR. We will choose to be with one another and we will choose to protect one another. Also, we will choose to not judge those who are not ready to be with one another.
We can have:
Connection AND Protection
Acceptance AND Difference of an opinion
Safety AND Friendship
Freedom AND Honor
Truth AND Grace
Truth AND Love
Corn Hole AND Safety
Kick Ball AND Protection
Love for God AND Love for one another