The Hottest Button

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Actually American politics is in agreement: it all comes down to identity. The issues at hand circle around which, and therefore what. 

The Gospel frees us, and in so doing, unsettles us. Our first identity is as a people following the risen Christ. This is what the emphasis on ‘theology of baptism’ primarily means. It is also what the apostolic writers meant by our being a ‘third race.’ Now our first identity as sons and daughters of God doesn’t deny or denigrate other, secondary identities. But it does interrogate them, affirming, completing, correcting, relativizing.

Another way to say this is that baptism breaks down walls (Ephesians 2) and challenges tribalisms of all kinds. This makes every political group uncomfortable sooner or later. Maranatha, Amen.


Complete the Race (II Timothy 4:17)

At the end of our vacation we find ourselves in Chicago for its Marathon weekend (the fastest, I have read this morning, perhaps because it is cool and relatively level). Marathons offer many good things. You can see world-class athletes from places like Ethiopia and Kenya. There is a feel of fiesta with signs by family members, getups by some for-fun runners, and food for sale.

But as I looked out my hotel window at 7:30 a.m., I watched the race of competitors who have lost legs or their use. Wheeling vehicles by arm for 26 miles means serious fitness and determination.

Those competitors were to me, this morning, a symbol of the Church too. For each is wounded. The larger family cheers them on. Each by grace has risen up to run the race. Ahead is the goal, the prize, the welcome home. We find the companionship of Jesus the Lord, there, and along the route too.