You and I continue to walk through gatherings and moments of anxiety these days. We are living in a new experience of trepidation and caution, at least. Change is taking place at an accelerated pace, and with it comes the inevitable anxiety and concern with the unexpected, and the adjustment of trying to regain balance and quiet fearful thoughts. Are the changes for good, or ill? In what way do they affect us, and the people for whom we care? What is our role and place, in the midst of such unpredictable stirrings?

Jesus lived during a long season of much struggle and stress in his homeland. He walked among a conquered people who flinched and resisted oppression and subjugation. He always belonged to a minority. He offered compassion, faith, and perspective to a troubled nation. He worked within a dysfunctional system to offer hope and redemption.

What can I learn from him? In a troubled and troubling world, I want to offer enough Shalom to calm fearful hearts. In an atmosphere of selfishness and personal arrogance, I want to share his work of empowering the forgotten, creating justice for the oppressed, and offering shelter and protection for the devalued and abused. I will remind my neighbors that I stand with him against prejudice and using religion as a weapon against fellowship and love (John 3:17). I will decry forms of verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual abuse in the marketplace of life. I will work in a wounded and wounding atmosphere to deliver peace and hope.

May you find your place as well.