It’s time to say it!

I just retired after 51 years as a pastor. Being prophetic or even saying what needs to be said is hard when you pastor a church. You are responsible for caring for all the people, with the diverse views and lives. You don’t want to create conflict. On a practical level, you want to keep your job.

Too often through the decades, that has meant being too cautious about what I said from the pulpit or even in conversation with many people. In recent years, I have felt free to say much more than I ever did before, and now I intend to say the things that need to be said. It’s time to just say it out loud.

The Christian gospel is about this world – not a world to come. The vision of the Hebrew prophets of a world healed and set free and filled with justice was Jesus’ vision – the vision of the kingdom of God he spoke about. Do not be concerned with what happens after death. Live in love for God and others (and yourself) in this life, in this world. That’s God’s desire for you and for all of us.

Salvation – in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures – is about love, healing, freedom, justice, and life. The whole of the gospel can be understood as we live into these five things. If we want to be “saved,” forget about heaven or hell and follow the path of love. Experience and pursue healing, freedom, and justice. And life is already yours.

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