(taken from April 20, 1019)

One thing you can count on in Washington DC is this – There’s always a war brewing. The actors may change names and faces, but the principle is always the same – the war is at hand.

And, I don’t mean a literal war with bombs, planes, and troops (although there are certainly occasions that to be true); but rather, there’s always a war brewing for ideas.. 

Whether it’s health care, tax appropriations, foreign aid, agriculture, science and education or energy; there are interested parties believing in the principles they came to Washington DC to uphold and they’ll stop at nearly nothing to see them come to fruition. 

The War for Peace and Prayer

I’m sure you saw the synagogue shooting that happened over the weekend in San Diego. Here in DC, there has been a lot of talk about the gunman who opened fire in Poway, California killing one person and wounding three others. 

You may think the war brewing would be about guns, or terrorism, or even antisemitic violence; but actually, the talk is about the safety of our world inside the war – mainly the apparent war against places of worship and those who choose to worship in peace. 

Violent acts like this are supposed to happen in places abroad where people are persecuted, but more and more it seems the places where people come together to express their chosen religious worship are becoming targets for more extreme violence. It seems like we are going to have to come to the conversation to include some sort of provision protecting the very places in our culture where peace is actually practiced. (I’m literally shaking my head in disbelief over this one.). 

The Conundrum

Who does this?

What have we become where places of worship are targets for mass shootings?

No matter if it a Church in South Carolina, a Mosque in Tennessee, or a Synagogue in San Diego; there are forces of evil working against the moral good of humanity in today’s world. 

I was talking with a Congressman a few weeks ago about this very issue, and he put it like this, “Andy, I’ve spent my lifetime building a castle. It looks good to all those around, and many can find shelter in the work I’ve helped create. And now, it’s time to come out of the castle and fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. I will spend whatever time God allots me in this place to fight for religious minorities, persecution of peaceful worship, and the right for all Americans to bow to their creator.” 

(It was one of those moments that could be in a movie with grandiose scores of music in the background, and I was proud to be a part of the conversation.)

After we prayed together, shook hands, and hugged, he said, “Until they pull me from my horse.” and I looked him in the eye and made a pact of solidarity, “Until they pull me from my horse” I echoed.

For the last few weeks, all our texts, emails, and goodbyes are marked with that simple phrase, “Until they pull me from my horse.”

I believe we have been given a God given platform to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. No matter they a small refugee group in Norther Iraq, a small band of Jews in the Sinai of Egypt, or a small Christian Church in Alabama; we can all take a moment and make sure the places of worship are protected. 

We all have influence to wield God’s ultimate tool of Love to persuade and promote a peaceful play for the world by learning what it means to Love God and Love our Neighbor. (Matthew 22:37-40) 

And if, at the end of the day, in the line of battle, we find ourselves at the end of the sword, they’ll have to pull us from our horse before we continue to allow this to happen in America.

Benediction and Prayer

May you be encouraged today to join me in praying for our leaders in Washington DC. 

May you see those around you in the minority groups of your community longing to pray in their own right.

And may you ride out of the castle you’ve built to stand up for another. 

Until they pull you from your horse.

May the battle be one focused on Loving well, and Living in the fullness of Jesus’ calling on your life. One step in front of the other, we forge ahead for the good.

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