• Bill McLean

Asking the Important Questions

“Where is the good news in this? Where is Jesus in this? “

These are the questions that two ruling elders I have had the joy to serve with in the presbytery have taught me to ask when facing a difficult decision or a challenging situation. In just a few words, the questions get to the heart of what we are called to do and be as Christians.

After the events of the past week, coming after the challenges of the past year, answering these questions can seem hard. Where do we find the good news, where do we find Jesus in a time of chaos, disease, and violence?

The answers to these questions can be seen in plain sight. We see it when a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister (Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben) spends her third day on the job as the new chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives providing pastoral care for those impacted by the mobs and violence at the Capitol just as she did for years as a Navy Chaplain. Closer to home we see it yesterday as pastors led worship and provided a theological framework for the important and challenging work ahead. We see it in the many ministries of congregations to bring healing to a broken world.

While these examples are not a substitute for the challenging work that we will have in the days, weeks, and months to come, they are a reminder that the good news of God’s love and grace are present around us even in times of despair.

There are many ways that we can and will respond going forward. It will be lifting our voices as we march in protest of the idols that have been built by society. It will be gathering for conversation at the table with neighbors and strangers as we break down barriers that have been built over generations. It will be doing something so completely new that we cannot even imagine it this morning.

Let us use our unique voice as the church to call out injustices, to free the oppressed, and to be part of the healing of a broken world.

In the days and weeks ahead as we respond to a broken world, let us be guided by “Where is the good news in this? Where is Jesus in this?”

Grace and peace, Bill Rev. William "Bill" McLean, II Presbyter for Congregational Care Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois

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