Thursday, January 26, 2017


     When I was a kid a whole bunch of neighborhood kids would play tag. We'd run ourselves ragged chasing each other around and it was fierce! Nobody wanted to be "it" but in the game of tag somebody is always it. Someone was always on the offensive (chasing) and someone was always on the defensive (dodging and weaving). At times we could avoid getting tagged but everyone was "it" eventually. And then, the pursuer became the pursued. Whenever we got weary from the chase we could enter that magical place called "base."
     While standing at base breathing heavily from exhaustion we had no worries! We could rest there and relax. And sometimes, our "enemy" would wander over and have a casual conversation with us at base! And for a moment all that rivalry, competition and relentless back and forth was suspended. We were just two kids standing around together catching our breath. But as soon as we stepped off that base the never ending game called tag was back on. No one evers wins in just goes on and on and on.
     Our current political climate reminds me a lot of playing tag. The rivals are always pressing, always pursuing, always trying to tag the other side. And it goes on and on and on. No one ever wins. Parties take turns attacking and being attacked. In contrast with the good-spirited competition of tag; politics is mean-spirited rhetoric, bullying, fear-mongering and spin....FROM ALL SIDES. I sometimes find myself asking "where is base?"
    Every Sunday I gather with people from all walks of life at my church. We have young and old, blue collar and white collar, middle class and poor, and a whole variety of ethnic backgrounds. We have people who are passionate about politics and opinionated on current events. Monday through Saturday many of these people are tagging and getting tagged. But Sunday, for one hour we come to "base". We sing songs of encouragement. We pray. At communion we remember we are all deeply flawed and yet loved by God. Instead of railing about what's wrong with everyone else, we study God's Word to see where we need improvement. We stand around with other people who are trying to catch their breath. It's just one precious hour and then...back into the fray. If you need to catch your breath this week, whatever your politics, you might just try your local church. Just got tagged, gotta go!

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