Friday, August 03, 2012

Reflections from Kenya - Why Politics Matter

It is day five in Kenya. We’ve had our fun and been amazed with a safari to the Mara where we came face to face with hundreds of animals. The creation of our world is absolutely spectacular beyond words. A mother cheetah sitting atop an anthill with her four young fuzzy cubs is not a sight to be found many other places in this world.

We are now an hour away from Karai. We will be greeted with voices of kids and hugs to fill any hearts. I dream of a day when all the orphans in this small community will be nurtured, educated, and filled with hope for their future. The ways of Jesus call for us to care for the poorest and marginalized of our society. We find it quite easy to feed the poor in theory, but when it becomes a question of a tax break for us or feeding ‘the least of these’, then what will we choose?

Before leaving for Kenya, I was reading of my local U.S. Congressman’s desire to roll back tax rates for the wealthiest of our nation while cutting programs that help feed our poor. In the midst of Kenya Matters doing so much good, I often wonder if I am called to a full-time pursuit of these dreams for orphan children in this nation. Yet, I am also reminded of our inabilities to see our own greed and give preference to our own personal agendas over the biblical agenda of caring for the poor, the widow, the alien, and the orphan at home in the States.

The ways of the gospel necessarily confront the powers of this world. We need to become people who care about God’s creation including all of humanity. When we give preferential treatment to the wealthy, aka ‘Job Creators’, over and against helping create sustainable lives for the poor, we are far from the biblical text.

If we are to pray “Your Kingdom Come on Earth as it is in Heaven,” then we necessarily need to acknowledge the horrific reality that our own government is choosing policy that gets those on the left and right re-elected rather than chase after justice and mercy.

I encourage you to walk alongside and live into the biblical words of the prophet Micah, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and seek mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Giving tax breaks to the wealthy and taking from the poor is absolutely contrary.

May we learn to struggle with what it means to be Christians living in America rather than deferring to our political parties – of which we often inherited from our youth. Making conscious decisions in the ways of the kingdom of God will always be a better option.

Grace & Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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