Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges.
Our daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus, even if you don’t have a lot of time. We have a rhythm that keeps us in sync, even if we’re not a community that meets together in person regularly. Every Monday we introduce the week’s idea. Every Tuesday we study it in the Bible. Every Wednesday we see how that challenges and transforms our thinking on the topic. Thursdays we try to apply and live it out. Friday is a day for prayer and reflection before we take a rest on Saturday, and Sundays we meet together with others in community.
Our series right now is called “We Are”. It follows on two other series – “God Is…” and “Jesus Is…”. Our attention now turns to us, human beings, and what knowing God and following Jesus actually means for our lives.
Just last week, a tragedy occurred when a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando took around 50 lives, wounded many others, and rattled the rest of us.
Like most people, I learned about the event through social media, and what struck me was the way my friends on social media immediately needed to label the event. Some called it Islamic terrorism, others called it a hate crime against gay and lesbian people. Some called it the result of mental illness, and then a few days later, some called it the product of him living a second life as a gay man. All these swirled around, and what struck me was how quickly everyone wanted to find one label for the perpetrator. It occurred to me that none of us are that one-dimensional. This man was many of those things, in one complex, messy, conflicted matrix of identities when he committed such a horrific crime.
We’re all a mixture of identities, and I think we all know this about ourselves, even though it’s easier to label other people with one thing at a time. It allows us to divide the world simply and cleanly – us and them, good and bad, and so on.
Overcoming those divisions, identity politics and simplistic labels may seem very modern, but about two thousand years ago, one Christian leader was already urging followers of Jesus to get over the labels and form one community of faith. We’ll hear that story tomorrow.
Question: What divisions and labels have you seen coming between Christians? Between people in general?