a seemingly simple question
yet You asked them to put their lives on the line for You
their answers could be, should be
treasonous to the ears of the EmpireWho do you say that I am? a worthy question, even now, especially now
we live in another Empire with a Pharoah who does not know Joseph
and would enslave us all, try us for treason if he could
Your question hangs in the air, awaiting our answersWho do you say that I am?You are the Messiah, of course
the One who sets us free
and saves our souls
Messiahwhat does this mean for children in cages, families torn apart?
what does this mean for immigrants, refugees, assylum seekers,
all who come with hopes and dreams for a life of freedom
and are met with white supremacy, racism, and rejection?Who do you say that I am?You are the Prince of Peace
the One who guides our feet
in the ways of justice
Prince of Peaceour lips may speak these words
our actions say otherwise
there is no peace without justice
ask George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmoud Arbery
and counteless othersWho do you say that I am?You are the Great Physician, Healer of the Nations
the One who makes us whole
and unites us in love
Great Physicianthere is no evidence of this truth
in a nation that values perfection over wholeness and wealth
where is unity for those on the edges, devalued and dismissed
by Empire?Who do you say that I am?You are the Living Water
the One who quenches thirst
and brings new life
Living Waterthen why are so many so very thirsty
in Flint, at the border, on our streets?
why withhold water for the poorest
when we have more than enoughWho do you say that I am?Lord and Savior
the One who saves us from ourselves
and frees us to love without condition
Lord and Savioragain, where is the proof?
we act as if Love were a precious commodity
and hoard it for ourselves because Empire tells us
there is not enough for those who are undeservingWho do you say that I am?Light of life
the One who shines with hope
chasing away our despair
Light of Lifethen why not wear a mask to show our love for our neighbors?
why not welcome all with grace and mercy?
suicide rates are climbing and we refuse to share our hope
perhaps our trust, our faith, is not up for the task at handWho do you say that I am?Wonderful Counselor
the One who guides life
offering wisdom, healing, grace
Wonderful Counseloris it not Empire that guides our choices?
is it not Empire that teaches us to hate?
is it not Empire that divides us from our neighbors?
when will we listen and actually care for the vulnerable among us?Who do you say that I am?Mighty God
the One who loves without condition
waiting patiently for us to believe
Mighty GodLove knows no limits
hatred, destruction, division, violence, war are purely human
perhaps now is the time for transformation
paying heed to the prophets among usWho do you say that I am?be careful how you answer
do your words match your deeds?
do you love your neighbor as yourself?
do you follow the ways of Empire
rather than care for the vulnerable among you?
will you put your life on the line
for the sake of love?Who do you say that I am?
RCL – Year A – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – August 23, 2020
Exodus 1:8-2:10 with Psalm 124 or
Isaiah 51:1-6 with Psalm 138