Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day. – Richard of Chichester, 1253
WEIGHING IN: Every once in a while I will hear from a reader who wants me to weigh in on whatever story is front and center in the news. Politics, immigration, gun control, international tensions, the treatment of refugees, the 2020 election, Donald Trump…
I guess I could offer my opinion and commentary more often. I certainly think about these issues and they are never far from my prayers. But I would much rather talk with you about your own personal journey as a disciple, the challenge to follow Jesus every day, and our responsibility to live as if the Gospel of Love really can make a difference.
I could tell you what I think, but…
You see I could tell you how I believe we should respond to morally bankrupt leadership, the dangers of an executive branch that routinely overrides checks and balances, nationalism, xenophobia, and the morphing of much of the evangelical right into a politically-charged lightly-Christianized religious nationalism – but I honestly believe the only way to make progress in any of these areas is to be more intentional in putting faith into practice.
It is possible that you could be persuaded by my words to shift your viewpoint, to change your priorities, to vote like me, or to behave differently. But a much more effective strategy would be for me to nudge you in the direction of a more transformational relationship with God. You see, I am convinced that Jesus will always lead his friends toward justice, and into self-giving love; Jesus stands for the underprivileged, the rejected, the poor, the sick, and the oppressed.
Jesus is God’s invitation:
If I could only encourage you to take the invitation of Jesus seriously and view all of scripture, all the law and the prophets, through the lens of love (Mark 12:28-34), then I honestly believe there would be very little need to browbeat or argue concerning the plight of the refugee or the travesty of unequal access to healthcare or the undercurrent of racism and sexism that still drives too much of 21st Century American life.
So don’t look for political wisdom from me, or arguments to use for or against some cultural issue. Instead let me point you toward a life of more intentional discipleship and get to know Jesus as friend, savior, promise, and guide.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.