This past Sunday we heard the good news proclaimed that resurrection is not just for after death, but resurrection life available to us now — Jesus is inviting us into a life defined by love and rendering justice.
Near the conclusion of the sermon, I shared that recently a few congregants had been reflecting on the question of how we discern where to live. More specifically, when the place you live seems committed to opposing your values, how do you decide when it is time to stay and fight for change or move on?
I noted that I don’t have an answer for every particular individual. In fact, it’s a question I often ask my wife on behalf of our family. I used to believe that God had a very specific plan for each of us to follow. For example, God’s plan is for John Doe to move from Seattle to North Carolina in 2021. I still believe the Divine has a plan for creation and I still believe God cares about the particulars of each of our lives, but, as I thought about this question of where to live, I noticed that something in my view has shifted.
I’m not sure you have to live at this particular address for this particular range of dates to be faithful to what God has for you. Instead, I have a sense of freedom for us to discern and decide these things. You are free to notice and name your desires about where to live. I believe there is wisdom in how we decide these things, but I no longer believe there is one right place to live at one precise moment.
Instead of there being a specific place to be at a specific time, I believe that God is calling us to a way of being where we are. We’re being invited into a true presence, a resurrection way of life. In Acts 1, Jesus tells the disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them and they will be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Friends, wherever you find yourself today — whether it be Indianapolis, the Midwest, the United States, or spread across the globe — you are empowered by the Holy Spirit to bear witness to the rule and reign of Christ right there.
This is such good news — you don’t have to live in fear of missing a sign or choosing the wrong path. You are free to choose. Use wisdom, of course. Lean on your community, absolutely. Pray, yes. Whatever path you are considering — where to live, what career to pursue, whether to begin a new venture — you are free. Walk confident that God cares about it more than you do and is faithful to meet you wherever you are.
Freed from this burden, receive the power of the Holy Spirit to live in a way that bears witness to the lordship of Christ today. Submit to the law of love and pursue justice.
We will spend our lives learning to submit to the law of love and pursue justice. That is difficult enough without walking the tightrope of perfectly discerning which yard of space to occupy at a particular moment in time. Wherever you go this week, go freely and love boldly.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all always.