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Sharing God’s light with ‘Spinach Theology’

When Popeye the Sailor needed help, there was always a can of spinach near. It’s tempting to think of God as the can of spinach. “Spinach Theology” is only good when a miracle follows. What happens if there is no miracle?

Recent events reminded me that some crisis are more than “Spinach Theology” can handle: nine people murdered during a Bible Study in Charleston, eight police officers murdered within 30 days, two reporters killed doing a routine story at Smith Mountain Lake.

Where is God when crisis and problems overwhelm me? Maybe God is not the problem. Maybe the real problem is “Spinach Theology?” Maybe we need to rethink and reshape our faith.

What we often overlook is someone providing comfort and strength to endure. What you can rely on is a Source who allows you to put things in perspective, find ways to cope and reminds you that you are never truly alone.

God never promised to provide a can of spinach whenever needed. However, God does promise to always offer a light. The light could and should shape our ultimate theology. The Lord is our ultimate source of light so why should we be afraid? We are the light of the world, so we should be visible for all to see. Let our good deeds shine.

What about the three examples of senseless violence? How should we respond? There are no easy answers, but we can and should respond as Christians guided by God’s light.

Shortly after the shooting at Emmanuel AME, many churches devoted one Sunday as a time of confession and prayer to deal with the persistent problem of racism. A few churches in our area are praying for and connecting with African American churches nearby.

Recently someone saw an officer filling up his patrol car. Quietly, he walked over and stood behind him and said: “I just want you to know that I have your back.”

After the murder of the two reporters, people sent flowers to nearby television stations and newspaper offices while others sent cards offering prayers and support.

Jermaine Watkins, an African American pastor at Journey Church in Charleston, spoke to a group of religious leaders shortly after the shooting at Emmanuel AME church. Rev. Watkins declared, “What unites us is stronger than what divides us.”

God does promise to always offer a light glowing in the darkness, calming fears, renewing courage, restoring hope and redeeming lives.

REV. LARRY E. DAVIES  can be reached at larrydavies@sowingseedsoffaith.com.