From Pastor Caroline (2/18/22) . . .

The Rules of the Game

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

~Luke 6:36

There have certainly been a lot of games on TV lately! We had the World Series, the College
Football National Championship, the Super Bowl, the Olympic games, and now we are coming up
on March Madness. There is no shortage of games to be watched.

We like to play games and participate in games and cheer on our team. But there is a bottom line:
We want our team to win. This seems to be ingrained in us from the time we are children.

If any of you have ever played a game with children, you know that the rules of the game are
subject to change. And what determines the rules of the game for a child? The rules of the game
change in order to ensure the victory of the one creating the rules!

Now this can be funny and cute when the one changing the rules is a child. But there comes a
point, an age, when that is no longer the case. It’s no longer cute.

What about when the rules of the game keep people living on the street? When housing vouchers
distributed during the pandemic are unable to be cashed in for rent because of an inflated housing
market? What about when the rules of the game lead to children being separated from their
parents at the border as they flee conflict and circumstance? What about when the rules of the
game leave those with disabilities far behind and struggling?

Who created these rules? Who benefits from these rules? What is their purpose? It is easy for us
to recognize what rules are Kingdom rules and what rules are rules about culture. The rules of
the culture are about conquering and survival, but the rules of the Kingdom protect
everyone. The rules of the Kingdom look out for “the least of these,” whereas the rules of the
culture are created to protect those with power or influence.

Jesus says that the rules of the game need to protect everyone. Let’s re-imagine the game.
Let’s play by Kingdom rules. As Jesus says, let’s have mercy.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Caroline