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Jason Soroski Christian Blog and Commentary

Jason Soroski

Jason Soroski strives to communicate in a way that is insightful, meaningful, relevant, and mindful of the small things that we may otherwise overlook in our everyday lives. He effectively taps into his experiences as a worship pastor, classroom teacher, husband, and homeschooling father of five to relate poignant stories from real-life experiences. Jason holds an M.Ed. from Missouri Baptist University, has been featured in various print and web publications, and currently resides in Houston, TX. Read more from Jason at his blog The Way I See It.

#WeRemember

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. As we consider WWII, the rise of Nazi Germany, and the horrific atrocities that came with it, I am reminded that it was not really that long ago.
People who lived through that nightmare are still here.
Still alive and still sharing their stories.
Still wearing the numbers etched into their forearms.
Still bearing the physical and emotional scars of an experience I can barely imagine.
The holocaust is not ancient history. In the grand scheme of things, it is recent history:  so recent that it could almost be considered a current event.
We would do well to remember that every time we marginalize 'the other' we are only a few steps away from the horror that now exists only in black and white images.
That a society which justified imprisoning, murdering, and attempting to completely annihilate an entire group of people is just barely in our collective rearview mirror.
[caption id="attachment_8201" align="alignnone" width="800"]holo Image courtesy https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/38668425[/caption]
We live a in a culture that feeds off division. A culture that works tirelessly to parcel us off into segments, to unify us against 'the other' with whom we would disagree. Against those we would villainize. Against those we would dehumanize. Against those we would be happy to be without. The horror of millions murdered en masse without cause seems unreal to us, but in reality we are always just a few steps away. Neither is Anti-Semitism merely a 20th century phenomenon. The Jewish people have faced large-scale persecution for centuries, and it continues today. We hear more and more of Jewish groups attacked simply for being Jewish. While many of us have learned the truth, it seems many still are yet to learn. This is why it is so important that We Remember. That we face the past demons of humanity and join in proclaiming that so long as we have anything to do with it, this evil will happen Never Again.

Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and author of A Journey to Bethlehem: Inspiring Thoughts for Christmas and Hope for the New Year. He serves as worship pastor and in Colorado and spends his weekends exploring the Rocky Mountains with his family. Connect on TwitterInstagram, or at JasonSoroski.net.

 

In the late 1700's, We The People got the idea that we were tired of being ruled by the British Monarchy and wanted a different option, and in the 18th century the only way to go about that kind of thing was to wage a war. 


Throughout much of the world today there is no transition of power without bloodshed. Opposing voices are routinely silenced, and power is held indefinitely by the few while the masses have no say or influence.


Regardless of how we vote, we must admit that we find ourselves in a unique and enviable situation in world history. In 1980 I watched Jimmy Carter peacefully hand power to Ronald Reagan. In 1988 Bush 41 handed power to Bill Clinton, Clinton to Bush 43 in 2000, and George W. Bush handed the reins of power to Barack Obama in 2008. During the inauguration, these leaders literally sit on the platform and participate while the other leader assumes power they once held.


Men with strongly opposing opinions, agendas, and philosophies who have respected the will of the people and handed over power peacefully, shook hands, and then simply walked away.


Last night we watched as Donald J. Trump wrapped up the necessary electoral votes, and in the morning this was the news, "President Obama called President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his election victory and invite him to the White House on Thursday to discuss "the smooth transition of power," the White House said.


Obama will discuss the election results in a statement to the press Wednesday from the White House, including "what steps we can take as a country to come together after this hard-fought election season" .


From a philosophical standpoint, President Obama has little in common with President-Elect Trump. Most of Trump's campaign was built on opposition to policies Obama has implemented. But without a second thought, our President is prepared to continue the American tradition of a smooth transition of power, and ask the people to unite. Regardless of party affiliation, this is what American leaders do. He was graciously treated this way by an opponent in 2008, and he now extends that same tradition.


As our nation continues to be strongly divided, I still believe we are not as divided as we think we are or the networks tell us we are. We all yearn for unity and understanding, and we do well to follow the example of the smooth transition of power. Do not fall into the trap of speaking constant ill of President Obama, President-elect Trump, Secretary Clinton or any of those who have chosen a position different from yours. The election is over, and while we will certainly continue passionately debating our differences, we must seek to do so in civility.


For what does continued anger towards one another accomplish? Nothing at all but a further circling of the wagons and further isolations against those 'other' people, who in truth generally seek the same results you do, they just believe that a different approach will get them there.


Instead let us choose to be guided by this truth, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." - Luke 6:45. Let us pray for all our leaders and ask God to guide their decisions, regardless of party. Let us pray for one another to move forward from this campaign season.


Keep your words pure and right by keeping your heart pure and right. There was division in 2000, there was division in 2008, there is division today and this divisive election will be followed soon enough by another, but the words we say and the way we choose to interact with those around us will leave lasting impressions, quite possibly for generations to come. Don't forever alienate Clinton supporters or Trump supporters or third party supporters. It's simply not worth it, as the smooth transition of power is going to occur one way or the other and will occur again in the future. That has always been and will always continue to be a very very good thing.

Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and author of A Journey to Bethlehem: Inspiring Thoughts for Christmas and Hope for the New Year. He serves as worship pastor and in Colorado and spends his weekends exploring the Rocky Mountains with his family. Connect on TwitterInstagram, or at JasonSoroski.net.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Peace on earth. 

Doesn't that sound nice? Can you imagine a world that is . . . peaceful? 

At the core of our beings, this is what we all deeply long for.  Wouldn't it be great of everyone everywhere could just find a way to live in peace with one another?

Yet, at least in this world,  it is so unattainable. Just check your news feed to see evidence of that.

So how can the angels speak of 'peace on earth, good will to men' in a world that only seems to be getting more and more out of control?

In the midst of the American Civii War, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lamented this lack of peace in his poem, Christmas Bells. In this poem, which has since been set to music and become a beloved song, Longfellow states that in spite of this beautiful promise of Scripture, there does not truly seem to be any peace on earth:

And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

It doesn't take much to see that in this crazy world of ours, hate continues to be strong.  Hate has found it's way into everything we do.Hate has even found a way into fighting each other over chicken restaurants.

Hate has found a way into our cars.  We can't even drive to the grocery store without exchanging some amount of road rage hatred with someone we probably don't even know. Hate has found it's way into our homes, our jobs, our relationships. Hate is indeed strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth.

Yet, isn't that what Satan has always done? Hasn't he always worked to make a mockery  of all that is good, all that is Godly, all that will bring peace?

Longfellow ends his poem on a different note:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men."

This is what we believe.

That we live as strangers on this earth.

That as believers, we are citizens of a Kingdom where there is nothing but peace, doing our best to live out that citizenship in a fallen chaotic world.

That the struggles of this life are not are that there is.

That through Christ, Creation will be restored.

That Peace and Good Will can once and for all triumph over evil, and that there will indeed be Peace on Earth.

Let's stay connected!  Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and author of A Journey to Bethlehem: Inspiring Thoughts for Christmas and Hope for the New Year. He serves as worship pastor and in Colorado and spends his weekends exploring the Rocky Mountains with his family. Connect on TwitterInstagram, or at JasonSoroski.net.

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