Whose side is God on?

Richard Rohr reminds us that God belongs to the powerless

“Jesus is just as loyal to the suffering of Iraqi and Russian soldiers as he is to the suffering of American and British soldiers. He grabs all our boundaries away from us, and suddenly we are forced to see that we are a universal people. Most people do not like being that exposed and that shared. Yes, God is on the side of the pain, and goes wherever the pain is (which is abundantly clear in the Gospels). We can no longer preempt Jesus for our own group, religion, or country. People seeking power cannot use him for their private purposes. He belongs to the powerless.”—Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation

It is so easy to think our group (religious, political, national, whatever) has ownership of God. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We become so convinced by our own righteousness that we can’t imagine that God could possibly be on any other side.

But God doesn’t take sides like that. Jesus will never be the property of any religion, political party, or country.

He is simply for people, all people. Most especially the oppressed.

The minute we think we have a complete claim on God, we are in very dangerous territory.

Human instinct may cause us to form alliances that separate us into groupings of us and them, but Jesus proposes a new way.

And this new way, this new humanity, is all about forming one human grouping that is all about us for them.

One, universal humanity. Standing up for those in pain. Fighting for the oppressed and the powerless.

That is the only side God will ever take.

If we want to be on God’s side, it’s us who has to do the moving. We can’t simply try and fit God into our religious, political, and nationalistic prejudices.

As Desmund Tutu says:

God wants to set the oppressed free from being oppressed and the oppressors free from oppressing.

So let’s not ask whether God would support:

this religion or that religion,
this political party or that one, 
this country or that country.

Instead, let us ask ourselves:

What am I doing to support the poor, oppressed, powerless people whose side God is on?

It’s time to get on God’s side.

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