Should We Continue?

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I was a sophomore in high school the first time I paid attention to the story of Hagar and Ishmael. After reading Melville’s famous line, “Call me Ishmael,” I looked up Ishmael’s story in the Bible. That simple sentence from Moby Dick was so purposeful, I wanted to know why. Reading the biblical story didn’t exactly answer that question, but it did make me feel something for Hagar, and Ishmael as well.

At 15 I had a lot of empathy for the unwanted and unloved Hagar who was cast out because of Sarah’s jealousy for her own son. I took the story to mean that maybe God cared for those cast out nearly as much as God cared for those who belonged to the in-group. As one who often felt left out or unwanted, it gave me some comfort to believe that God could care for people who were like Hagar and Ishmael.

Years later I read this passage for a seminary class and it struck me that Hagar had been given a promise much like Abraham’s – God would make of her son “a great nation.” She was the only woman in scripture singled out for such a promise. Of course, this interpretation gave me hope as a young woman going into ministry when still so many churches didn’t think women should be pastors. If God could promise Hagar, the same one Sarah had discarded, that descendants would become a great nation, then God could surely call one such as myself into ordained ministry.

Now, decades later, I am hearing something else in this passage. Yes, there is a promise of God’s love for the outcast, even the unwanted woman. These meanings don’t go away just because I’m seeing something new here. It’s possible that my reading of the story is heavily influenced by a week of vacation Bible school with the theme of “Blessed to Be” and emphasizing God’s love for all people. It’s possible that I’m reading this passage with some desperation to find a way through all the hatred and fear that is swirling around in the midst of a Pride weekend. It’s possible that what I’m thinking about this passage is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Whatever it is, what I’m hearing now is a declaration of kinship. God claimed Ishmael as surely as God claimed Isaac. Perhaps God listens (the meaning of Ishmael) as much as God welcomes laughter (the meaning of Isaac). And God expects the same from us.

It’s the kinship idea that has grabbed hold of me this week, though. Ishmael and Isaac were brothers and received similar promises from God. Why do we not see this kinship in each other? We follow Sarah’s example rather than God’s. Sarah in her fear and jealousy and need to ensure that only her son would inherit what his father had to offer, urged Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert never to be seen or heard from again. Abraham did so after God assured him that God would take care of them. And God does. God claims Hagar and Ishmael as God’s own. Why have we not learned this lesson?

Today the world is divided between those who belong and those who do not. Those who are Christians and those who are not. Those who are heterosexual and those who are not. Those who are white and those who are not. Those who are gender-conforming and those who are not. Those who are “Americans” and those who are not. Those who are wealthy and those who are not. Those who are healthy and those who are not. Those who are able-bodied and those who are not. The list goes one. We find any number of ways to cast people out, to define an us versus them.

Of course, if you’re reading the text from Matthew you may feel that you are justified in doing this. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus makes some outrageous statements about bringing a sword rather than peace and how family members will rise up one against another. This passage was meant to reassure those who were losing everything for their faith in Christ. It was not meant to give permission to hate and dismiss and destroy those who are “different.” Jesus, who taught loving God, loving self, and loving neighbor in the way that he, Jesus, loved, would be horrified at the hatred spewing out of the mouths of those who claim his name.

In Romans Paul asks if we should continue in sin so that God’s grace may flow. He answered his own question with a resounding, “No!” As we told the children at VBS this last week, we are blessed to be blessings to others. We are loved by God so we are to love one another. It really is that simple. Sarah may have hated Hagar and Ishmael, but God showed them great mercy and love and claimed them as God’s own. When will we welcome the outcast, the refugee, the immigrant, and all others we label as “different” or “unwanted” with the same kind of love and mercy and claim the kinship God intended? Like Paul, we must ask ourselves if we should continue in sin. By the grace of God, may we all answer with the same resounding, “No!”

RCL – Year A – Third Sunday after Pentecost – June 25, 2017
Genesis 21:8-21 with Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 or
Jeremiah 20:7-13 with Psalm 69:7-10, (11-15), 16-18
Romans 6:1b-11
Matthew 10:24-39

Photo: CC0 image by Gordon Johnson

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Holy Improbable Promise

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I was maybe 10 the first time someone told me I would be a great mother one day. I was already babysitting by then, and in a year or so I was much in demand. I babysat after school most afternoons and many Friday and Saturday nights for years. At thirteen I started having dreams about having my own children. These dreams continued for years, always featuring a black-haired, blue-eyed boy and a red-headed, green-eyed girl. I was sure these dreams were some kind of a promise since they happened often. Sometimes, I still dream about these children.

The reality is that I have no children. I considered adoption in my mid-twenties and again when I turned 30 and once more in my late 30s, but life circumstances made it impossible then. In my early 30s I was told that my uterus was “inhospitable.” At 40 I had a necessary medical procedure that made pregnancy even more unlikely and then in my mid 40s I had a hysterectomy. For many years, every time I saw a pregnant woman, I cried. It was hard to reconcile the life I lived with the life I thought I had been promised.

As a result of my experiences with infertility, I have a strong affinity for the barren women of scripture. Now at 50 I read this story of Sarah once more and, I too, laugh. What more could be done? Sarah who had most certainly passed her child bearing years hears that she is to conceive and bear a son, the long-promised progeny that would give way to descendants too numerous to count. She was incredulous, and, just maybe, a little hopeful that with God all things might be possible, even the improbable. If it were me, I would laugh at the unlikelihood of it all, laugh until my laughter turned to tears of gratitude at the possibility of so much more.

This is how Sarah’s story hits me on a personal level. Yet, there is something much deeper in this story that echoes through the Gospel text. It’s what allows the disciples to go out into the wider world proclaiming good news that will put their lives at risk. In spite of Sarah’s laughter at God’s preposterous promise, she does, indeed bring a son into the world. And she names him, Isaac which means, essentially, laughter. Then Isaac goes on to have children of his own and one of them becomes the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. This makes Israel the child of Laughter. Perhaps, this is how the people of God have managed to survive captivity and oppression over and over again. Somehow, someway, they have held on to this identity as children of Laughter. Maybe the laughter that spilled from Sarah’s mouth that day took root in the spirit of all those who would come after her…

The church would do well to pay heed to this lesson. The church was born out of a promise, one nearly as preposterous as the one Sarah and Abraham were given. Jesus promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would come to them and remind them of all that he had taught. From there the followers of Jesus would become more numerous than anyone ever thought possible. Perhaps the echoes of Sarah’s laughter were enough to keep them going in the early days when it looked like there would be no future for the church.

Now we, as church, are quite old. So old, in fact, that many of us find it hard to imagine that there is a new way of doing things. We cling to what we know. Like Sarah and Abraham we have adjusted to the way things are and made a comfortable life for ourselves. Yet, there is more to the promise than comfort. There is more to the hope for the future than a repetition of the past. All around us there are signs that God is doing a new thing, whispering promises of offspring even when churches are closing and people are scattering. There are signs that the life long-promised is stirring within us, even those of us who believed ourselves to be barren. There is life here; the Spirit still moves.

What is it that God is asking of you? Maybe it is to bring life to a place and a people who gave up hope long ago and have become far too comfortable in their pews… Maybe it is to share laughter at the imaginings of a God who can see the church changing and growing in unexpected ways… Maybe it is to be among the midwives who will nurture and care for the life that is stirring?

Whatever God is up to, it’s okay to laugh. It’s okay to be unbelieving. It’s okay be stunned into silence. God will do what God will do to keep laughter alive in this generation and the next. Just don’t get stuck. Keep looking for what God is up to and be ready to jump in and do your part.  And don’t be surprised when your laughter at the impossibility of it all gives way to tears of gratitude over the abundance of the gift of it all. In our old age, we will give birth to a new generation and that generation will know laughter and joy because they will be the embodiment of Christ, beloved children of a God who delights in us. This is what has been promised to us because, after all, we are part of that impossible promise that prompted Sarah’s laughter, are we not?

RCL – Year A – Second Sunday after Pentecost – June 18, 2017
Genesis 18:1-15, (21:1-7) with Psalm 116:1-2,12-19 or
Exodus 19:2-8a with Ps 100
Romans 5:1-8
Matthew 9:35-10:8, (9-23)

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It Was Good

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I don’t know about you, but I am tired. There is so much that needs attention. How do I find my way among the calls for action against racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia? How do I manage to work toward clean energy, reducing the stigma around mental illness, and food security for all? And there is so much more! How do I find the time, the passion, and the awareness of all that needs response without losing myself and my sense of what God is calling me to? Truth be told, I am exhausted by all the ways in which we human beings fail to recognize the value of all that God created. We act as if the Earth were not gifted to us to be good stewards and gentle caretakers of it. We act as if we can do as we please to ourselves, to our neighbors, and to Creation. It makes me wonder when the last time God was able to look and see that all was “very good.”

Maybe if we all went back and read the first chapter of Genesis again, it would help. Well, if we read it for truth rather than fact, the ancient words might help ground us and remind us of whose we are. If we can all agree that God made the whole of Creation and God made it very good, perhaps we can set aside the distraction of the creation vs. evolution debate. Evolution is a fact born out by science and creation is the truth of who and whose we are. Science can show us how creation happened but our faith stories tell us the purpose.

Now we can move on to humankind. We know that humankind is created in the image of God. This creation story is very clear that God created humanity in God’s own image. As individuals we contain some holy reflection of our Creator. However, it is only the fullness of humanity bound together in community that more accurately reflects the heart of God. One is not greater than another. Each has a place in the whole. It doesn’t matter what social norms have developed. In the beginning God created humankind in God’s own image. The divisions among us are purely our doing. The rejection, hatred, dismissal, devaluing of any human life is not ever what God intends. Hatred has no place in the heart of God nor in the hearts of those created in love and for love.

If Creation was made good and human beings bear the image of God, then how have we arrived at this place in time of super storms ravaging coastal communities, famine covering the Horn of Africa, war waging for decades murdering and displacing millions of people, people experiencing homelessness in every city and town, those with mental illness going untreated, elders living in poverty, racism and white supremacy leaving blood on our streets, and so much more destruction of the planet, of humanity, of the whole of Creation? How have we gotten to this place?

Of course, there are many ways to answer this question and all of them offer pieces of the proverbial puzzle. However, I suggest that humanity has arrived at this point due to pure, unadulterated hubris. For generations we’ve acted as if there are no consequences for our actions. We’ve taken resources from the earth without much thought about what will happen when they are gone. We resist changing our ways when we learn better, more gentle ways of living on this planet. We’ve set up systems of kyriarchy that keep hatred, greed, privilege alive and well without considering where these systems came from. Then when we learn better, we fail to do better because we don’t want to lose our place in the kyriarchy as individuals, as faith communities, as a country. Our hubris is killing us and we continue to claim that this is how God created us to be – I have my stuff and you have yours and, by the way, my stuff is better than yours because God loves me more.

No! This is not it. The first chapter of Genesis tells us differently. This creation story first told to remind the Hebrews living in Babylonian exile that God was still their God. God made creation. God made them. God made the Babylonians, too. God did not make the world to be a place of pain and suffering. God did not make humankind to be agents of destruction. God made Creation good! God made humankind to be agents of love. This is what humanity has forgotten.

The Babylonian captivity may be long over and little remembered, but we live as captives in a culture that values prosperity over people, power over justice, kyriarchy over equity. In this season of Pentecost, we can honor the Spirit by inviting her to blow fear out of our lives. We can ask that holy fires burn through all our self-justifications for maintaining the blinders of our privilege. We can ask God for the courage to truly walk in the way of Love, the way of Christ. After all, though we are a people held captive by culture, we are God’s people and God has not forgotten us. Perhaps it is time we remember the God who created us in God’s own image and proclaimed us and the whole of Creation as very good. May we have the courage to be good and to be agents of Love.

RCL- Year A – Trinity Sunday – First Sunday after Pentecost – June 11, 2017
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

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A Poem for Pentecost

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She Speaks a Language Not Our Own

Come, Holy Spirit, Come
we pray over and over again
expecting an answer
suitable for our sanctuaries
and comfortable for our souls
forgetting that she’s the one
who set holy heads afire
and blew away notions of
what ought to be

Come, Holy Spirit, Come
we pray once again
asking for blessings and affirmations
of our way of being and doing and believing
as we maintain our illusion of control
over the flow of God’s grace into the world
trusting our ways are holy ways
and the only right ways at that
all the while forgetting she’s the one
who blows where she wills

Come, Holy Spirit, Come
we pray yet again
expecting comfort and consolation
in our complicit pews
never minding the discomfort of our neighbors
or the cries arising in the night
forgetful of the days when
she hovered over creations waters
and called the world into being
more than what we know

Come, Holy Spirit, Come
we speak the words
seldom hearing their power
scarcely ever being still
long enough to see her
hear her feel her
remember her
as one who speaks a language
not our own

Come, Holy Spirit, Come
set our holy heads on fire
free us from foolish expectations
of rightness and rules
shatter our shallow beliefs
unfetter sacred visions of community
tied together in love and service
break open our fearful hearts
open our hands to receive the heartbroken
and the devastated ones in need of sanctuary
shake our sleeping souls
awaken us to your power
your presence
your holy ways

Come, Holy Spirit, Come
with wind
with fire
with whatever it takes
to teach us that new song
in a language not our own

RCL – Year A – Pentecost – June 4, 2017
Acts 2:1-21 or Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23 or John 7:34-39

Photo: CC0 image by Holger Schue

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Now is a Good Time to Move

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“You can’t stay here!” said the angels to the disciples as they stared up into the sky. “You can’t stay here and wait for Jesus. You have work to do after you receive the Spirit.” The disciples did not want to hear this as they stared in awe, amazement, wonder, and fear at the place in the sky where they had last seen the Risen Christ. I do not doubt for a second that Peter was ready to build an altar, pitch a tent, and wait for Jesus to come back. He had a pretty good track record of wanting to do such things. Who could blame him for such desires?

Imagine being in Peter’s place. Filled with a sense of the Holy, knowing something sacred just happened, why not hunker down and worship until the Holy shows up again? After the Transfiguration, Jesus was very clear that staying on the mountain top wasn’t a good idea because there was so much to be done in other places with other people. So, too, after Mary discovers the empty tomb, she is told that Jesus was not there and she should look for him among the living. She quite likely wanted to sit down and wait until Jesus showed up again or until someone could explain what happened. Why would Ascension be any different?

The angels didn’t have to wait to hear the disciples’ thoughts. They knew. They knew the very human desire to hunker down, hold on, and wait for God to show up again. That just isn’t the way it works. Why haven’t we figured this out?

We can say that the Gospels tell us how to be disciples. They tell the stories of Jesus’ teachings and interactions with the world and make clear that we, as followers, are to love one another. We are to love with a love so fierce that it leads to a kind of holy oneness. As a consequence, there’s no stopping and staying in the holy moments, the holy places. We are to fuel up for the journey ahead because there is work to be done with other people in other places. This is how it is with faith.

Now if we can take the leap and say that The Book of Acts is a continuation of the story that is more about being church than being individual disciples, we would do well to pay heed to the message. There is no hunkering down. There is no staying in one place. There is no staring up into the sky while waiting for Jesus to show up. Best get going because once the Spirit shows up there’s going to be a ton of work to be done.

Church, we haven’t done a very good job of paying attention to the angels who have told us, “You can’t stay here.” We’ve done a really good job of hunkering down. We’ve created rituals, traditions, polity, and buildings all in the name of worshiping God. This isn’t bad in and of itself. However, we’ve forgotten about the journey that will lead to other people in other places that need us to be church, to be Christ in the broken, wounded, suffering places. We have become far too comfortable sitting in our pews, saying our prayers, and waiting for God to change the world.

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples heard what the angels had to stay. They heard the “you can’t stay here” and returned to their upper room. They didn’t return there to continue to wait for Jesus to show up and fix everything. They joined with the wider community and they prayed and listened and prepared (as much as anyone can) for the Holy Spirit to blow through their lives and set their heads on fire. Then they were on the move.

When will we as church move? When will we let go of all that does not bring the realm of God into being? When will we hear the angels saying, “You can’t stay here?” Shouldn’t we be spending time in prayer, in listening, and in preparation for the Holy Spirit to show up? I hope she shows up soon. There’s a lot of outdated, useless debris that needs to be blown out of church as we know it. And there’s more than a few heads that need some holy flames to clear away the long-accumulated clutter.

It’s clear that we can’t stay here. We can’t sit comfortably in our pews with our familiar rituals and traditions while the world around us continues to break open and bleed all over our streets. We cannot remain comfortably silent while racism runs rampant and too many people actively cling to the ignorant dangers of white supremacy. We cannot whisper our prayers and wait for God to show up while hatred, bigotry, homophobia, ableism, sexism and transphobia are written into law. We cannot continue doing what we’ve “always done” while the government gives permission to keep those who are poor, hungry, homeless, or sick invisible to the wealthy and powerful. We cannot stare up into the sky at what used to be while gunshots echo through our streets and war ravishes the homelands of our neighbors. Church, we cannot stay here.

In these last days of Eastertide, let us spend time in prayer, in listening, and in preparing for the Holy Spirit. It is time for us to move. It is time for us to leave behind the holy moments and places of yesterday. We cannot keep silent and wait for God to fix what we’ve had a part in breaking. It is time for us to come down off the mountaintop we’ve been camped out on and be church, be Christ for one another, for our neighbors, for all whom we meet. If ever there were a time when the world needed to experience a Love so fierce as to create holy oneness, that time is now. Let’s get ready to move because we really cannot stay here.

For other thoughts on this week’s readings and sermon help try here.

RCL Year A – Seventh Sunday of Easter – May 28, 2017
Acts 1:6-14
Ps 68:1-10, 32-35
1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
John 17:1-11

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A God Still Unknown

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The summer before I entered ninth grade I went to a youth group meeting at a friend’s church. During that meeting, they all seemed to be very concerned about whether or not I knew Jesus. I thought I did. I thought I was a Christian, at least I did until they started talking about their experiences. The leaders and some of the older members shared their conversion stories and wanted to know if I believed that Jesus is “Lord and Savior” and if I had a “personal relationship” with him. This was all new to me. I didn’t know what to think or say. No one at the church I attended seemed concerned with my salvation. I was baffled by these strangers who were very worried about my soul. They told me I was not a Christian and that they would pray for my salvation.

Even though I never went back to that youth group, I thought about all the things they talked about and wondered about their concerns for years. I didn’t have any profound conversion experience. My journey was more of a slow awakening to the mysteries of the Spirit at work in my life and in the world. I wasn’t sure if Jesus was my Lord and Savior but I liked the idea. And I had no concept of what a personal relationship with Jesus would look like. I mean, I prayed often enough, but it’s not like Jesus and I sat down and had a conversation. That youth group meeting left me with a lot of questions. It took me years to sort out the answers.

While my theology and understanding of who God is turned out to be very different from the church whose youth group I attended long ago, I am grateful for the questions raised that day. I started to pay more attention to the stories of Jesus, what he did and who he was. I listened more carefully to what it was Christians were supposed to do and be in the world. I didn’t want to be just religious, just going to church and youth group, I wanted more. I’m not sure how long it would have taken me to search for the “more” if I hadn’t attended that youth group meeting.

I wonder how long the Athenians would have gone on being religious without knowing God if Paul hadn’t spoken in the Areopagus that day. I wonder how long any of us will go on not knowing this God we worship. How long will we continue to be like those ancient citizens of Athens, religious in so many ways, yet somehow not knowing the God who gives us life, breath, and being?

Every time I read this passage, something in me yawns, stretches, and awakens. It’s a yearning for something more than religion, ritual and practice, something more than what I already know and believe. It’s the same thing that awoke in me during that youth group meeting the summer I was 14. It’s the same thing that pushes me to be more than I am now, to reach for all that is holy and draw it closer. I imagine the Athenians who listened to Paul that day felt something stir within them, also. What if we all let this awakening yearning for God guide us in new ways that reveal something about this God whom we think we know? What if we followed this restless desire into whole new ways of living, moving, and having our being?

Paul was undoubtedly a brilliant preacher. The echoes of his words have the power awaken sleeping souls generations later. Who does not want to know this God who claims us as offspring and desires only that we love in return? With all the chaos, violence, and hatred in the world, the truth of Paul’s words is just sharp and convicting as they were in Athens. Whenever we remain silent in the face of all the isms and phobias that drive hatred and violence in our society, we show how empty our religious ways are. We seem to think that God is something that is shaped by the “art and imagination of mortals” more often than we realize that God is so much more than we can possibly imagine.

I’m still not one to talk about my faith in terms a personal relationship with Christ or to claim that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. However, I do feel the Spirit moving, calling us and urging us to live into the abundance God offers. I also know that if there is hope for the world, repentance is needed. Once we repent of all the ways we’ve made God in our image and participated in the ugliness of the world, then, together, we reach for the Truth and embody the Love and Justice that will save and transform the world. After all, are we not the Body of Christ? If we are not Christ with and for one another, who will be? Our religious ways should in no way promote fear, ignorance, and hatred. If our religious practices and beliefs are divinely inspired, then they will bring life and love into the world. Otherwise, it’s time to leave them behind and embrace that in which “we live and move and have our being.”

RCL – Year A – Sixth Sunday after Easter – May 21, 2017
Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
1 Peter 3:13-22
John 14:15-21

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Lessons from a Crime Scene

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I never thought I’d be spending time at murder scenes. Yet, too often, this is where I find myself as a member of a Police Community Support Team. When there is a critical incident, team members receive a text. Just as I was preparing to sit down and write, I received such a text. There had been a shooting and a man was dead and support was needed at the scene. When I arrived, everything seemed quiet and almost normal. Yet, there was the yellow crime scene tape and the familiar faces of homicide detectives. Then a little further up on my right was the body of the man who had been shot.

As the detective escorted me across the scene and told me what they knew, I noticed the scattered groups of people. Some were standing in silence. Some had tears flowing while they talked on their phones. Others were openly weeping for the man who had just been killed. Others greeted new arrivals with hugs and smiles of welcome. I was a part of it and an observer. My heart ached for those gathered. Yet another shooting in a neighborhood with far too many. It was not the first time these folks had gathered at a murder scene and it won’t be the last.

“Royal blood flows through our streets,” was my thought as I introduced myself to the newly widowed woman and stepped into the process of getting her immediate needs met. Her husband was killed for no reason. He just happened to be in the wrong place when the bullets were fired. How could no one see his holiness, his chosenness while police collected evidence and mourners cried?

The words of 1 Peter have been echoing through my head all week while getting louder this afternoon. We are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.” Yet, we spill the blood of our neighbors so easily. When did it come to be that young people cannot see the value in their lives or in the life of another? When did it come to be that violence is the only solution to a problem? When did it come to be that one’s value as a human being is determined on such insubstantial things as where you live, the color of your skin, your abilities, or where you happen to be standing?

God has chosen us for something other than destruction. God has chosen us for something other than violence and death. Why do we still live as if we were still “not a people” when we are God’s people?

That relationality that Jesus proclaims in John, “no one comes to the Father except through me” was not an exclusionary statement. It was a statement of great love and welcome. Jesus and the Father are the same, yet there is a relationality that is essential to life, to faith. My favorite word in seminary was “perichoresis” and it literally means “inner dance.” This is the dance of love that moves through the Godhead. It is the dance to which we are invited. We are invited, not as observers but as participants. Join in the relationality. Claim the dynamic movement of the Spirit that unites Father and Son as your own. Follow the footsteps of this holy dance and you will know Divine Love, the kind of love a parent has for a child but so much more than even that.

It’s this Love that marks us as chosen, royal, holy, and God’s very own. It’s a gift freely given. It’s a gift that comes with a cost. Once we accept the claim God has on us, we are obligated to live accordingly. We are obligated to love our neighbors with that same kind of Love. We love to save lives, to stop the blood flowing in our streets. We love without condition or expectation of reciprocation. We love hoping it will be contagious and others will join the sacred dance and pass it on.

I don’t want to go to another homicide scene. Murder happens when fail to see our neighbors as residents in God’s holy nation or because we fail to participate in the work of justice, the work required of the royal priesthood. If Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life for you, then you cannot afford to sit still while the blood flows. Invite everyone you know to join you in the sacred dance because we are all members of the same royal family. As one of my colleagues frequently says, “There’s no such thing as other people’s kids.” Let’s start living as though we really believe that we are one in Christ before it is too late.

RCL – Year A – Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 14, 2017
Acts 7:55-60
Psalm 31:1-5,15-16
1 Peter 2:2-10
John 14:1-14

Photo: CC0 image by Gerd Altmann

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