Will God’s people be God’s people?

Sometimes I wonder about God’s people. I’ve been a United Methodist pastor for twenty-six years now, and I’m still utterly confused sometimes by the beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes of some of the people who claim to be God’s people. Perhaps I expect too much. After all, the church is and always has been made up of fallen human beings who live in a fallen creation.
On the other hand, the church has always had the witness of Scripture to point the way to God through the church’s Lord and Savior, Jesus.
I can’t help but think as I write on December 22 that the church of 21st century America isn’t such a great example of the One whose birth we celebrate in three days. Among other names Jesus was known as the Prince of Peace, and some of the Christmas carols sung by the church proclaim the idea of peace on earth.
But have you paid attention to the news lately? There seems to be an awful lot of violence in our culture these days. The recent deaths of twenty-eight of our fellow human beings in Newtown, Connecticut in a hail of gunfire is only an exclamation point on America’s love affair with and culture of violence. But what about Jesus? What about the Prince of Peace? What about “peace on earth, goodwill toward humanity”?
When the majority of people I know bristle at the thought that America is not a Christian nation, where are God’s people who make up this “Christian” nation and why are they not clamoring for peace and living in ways that make for peace?
When it comes to being faithful disciples of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, will God’s people be God’s people?
I believe that God’s people will be God’s people, and that through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in and through God’s people America can be transformed into a culture of peace.

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