I Follow Jesus, So What Am I Supposed To Do About the News?
Am I the only one who feels like the world has a little more crazy these past few weeks?
A police officer shoots a man in Ferguson, Missouri, and riots ensue. A Grand Jury refuses to indict another police officer for using a choke hold that caused a death in New York. Protests break out. A new report accuses the CIA of more brutal torture. While Ebola has faded from the front pages, it is not gone; over 5,000 people have died and more are infected each day in West Africa. The Russians still seem to want more of Ukraine.
Impacting us in Sumter, our military was ready to disengage (finally) from Iraq and Afghanistan until ISIS/ISIL asserted itself. We are still sending friends and neighbors to the far side of the world to defend our country.
The bad news can be overwhelming. That’s why some of you have stopped watching the news. I spoke this past weekend with a woman who had not heard of Ferguson, Missouri. She told me with pride that she never watches the news or reads the paper. All that bad news, she said, upset her.
The bad news upsets God too. He did not make the world to be this way. Our God is a god of justice. He never decides who to love or favor based on the color of skin. He is the god who woos, and does not torture us into obedience. Our God heals. Our God wants peace between all the people He made.
If we truly follow Jesus, it means what upsets Jesus, upsets us. Maybe we can’t go to Africa and care for Ebola victims. Maybe we can’t speak to the rioting crowds. Maybe we can’t sit Putin down and have a conversation about loving your neighbor as yourself.
What I can do is pray. This only sounds feeble if your idea of prayer is small. When I hear the news, I can pray and join with God. I can tell God I am on His side. I can offer myself as tool for justice.
When I pray, God alerts me to injustice that exists in Sumter. I can begin to see that people need to know love and grace, whether they wear a badge or have been caught in a criminal act. My heart remembers that each person who dies from Ebola is not a statistic, but someone Jesus loved and died for. When I pray, I remember that if God can use a pagan king like Nebuchadnezzar, Putin is not off limits.
If I follow Jesus, the news is my prayer list. And my prayers will not only change the world, they will change me in the world. So pray the news. God is at work. Join Him.