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“Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another” (Ps. 90).
“God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.” Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) the second Secretary General of the United Nations wrote this in a journal that was discovered after his death in a plane crash in Africa.
Who is God? Who is the one who gives us time. How do we come closer to the holy and radiant one, the mysterious source who brings forth new life and is the object of our gratitude?
After Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem with the crowds shouting Hosanna. After he casts out the money changers from the temple, after he has taken up residence teaching and healing, the religious leaders try one last time to test Jesus, to trip him up in his words so that they might condemn him. They open the debate by asking which of the 613 commandments in scripture is the most important one.
Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:5. “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your mind.” He goes on to quote Leviticus 19:18 that the second most important commandment is, “to love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets” (Mt. 22).
When I was five years old on a Saturday afternoon the neighborhood kids told me to ring my neighbor’s doorbell for some reason that I cannot remember. They knew that he worked that night shift and that he would be sleeping. With a red face he screamed and swore at me. I had no idea what I had done wrong. We all have had experiences like this. When we hear the word “Commandment” we think of being punished for doing something wrong. But this is not the sense of Jesus’ commandments.
God loves in freedom not by forcing or compelling us as a dictator would. Instead through these instructions God helps direct our life toward joy.
The context of the readings Jesus uses is part of his message. In Deuteronomy it says to love God and to teach our children to love God so that the community will thrive, so that, “your days may be long.” This is the direction that God gives us so that we will be as complete and whole as we were created to be. The context of the second commandment from Leviticus shows us what it looks like to love your neighbor. It means leaving some of the leftovers in your fields so that the poor have something to eat. It means paying people on time and keeping your word and caring for disabled people (Lev. 19).
In our daily life we meet plenty of people who believe in the Golden Rule, in treating others as they want to be treated themselves. We know those who subscribe to Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative to act according to the same principles with which you want others to apply to you. Many people around us believe that theoretically this is how we should behave to others. But not so many around us believe in God.
Because of this each of us needs to be a witness, to have an answer to a simple question. Why God? Why should God come first? What does the love of God look like in our life?
- Idolatry. We are creatures who need meaning as much as we require food, shelter and rest. Decisions we make about meaning and what we commit ourselves to may be dangerous to ourselves and others. This week I met with two new staff members and we shared the story of our lives. Those stories don’t just exist in our individual minds or in those around us. They are in God too.
Idolatry or idol worship is what we do when we treat something in our life as if it were a god. It might be obvious things like money, politics, pleasure, your reputation or career. But it can also be more subtle. It can be something so good in itself, like a mother’s love for her child, but which cannot bear the weight of being the absolutely most important thing in our life.
The twentieth century author C.S. Lewis wrote a very brief book about hell and heaven called The Great Divorce. It begins with what seems like an infinitely expansive gray city where it is always dusk, and always raining. The people there are so ghostlike that they barely exist. Some decide to ride a bus to a beautiful, colorful more real place with vivid grass, flowers, trees and blue sky.
They go to the outskirts of heaven and they all have the chance to stay there but something keeps drawing them away from God and into themselves. One woman expects to meet her son there. She invested her whole life into his well-being. He was her god and when he died, in her mourning she treated her husband and daughter terribly. She is so angry with God, and this anger has displaced her real self.
To the relative who meets her there she says things like, “You wouldn’t say that if you were a mother,” “how could anyone love their son more than I did.” And the relative tries to explain, “You exist as Michael’s mother only because you first exist as God’s creature. That relation is older and closer.”
The person guiding the narrator says that in the end there are only two kinds of people. There are those who say to God “thy will be done.” And those who prefer something else to reality and to joy. To these people God says, “thy will be done.” Without the real God in our life we have a terrible tendency to make our own gods.
- Inadequacy. The twentieth century theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) writes that, “the illusion that we can disillusion ourselves is the greatest of all illusions.” We talk as if when it comes to God we are capable of even understanding God. We also act as if we could achieve some sort of detached neutrality, as if we are the ones who are judging God. But to use Barth’s words, “We cannot master God. We cannot come behind God. We cannot grasp God but only be grasped by God.”
The nature of God is not an abstract question. How we understand God makes a demand on how we must live. This is not the God of the philosophy shop, of abstractions, of hypothetical cases or words like “omnipotence.” What we really long for is the real God, the one who can actually help us and love us.
We can’t love adequately without God because God is the one who shows us how to love. Walking with Christ is how we know the way. As I said earlier we are not compelled by God. God does not force us to love him, because that would no longer be love. Karl Barth writes that God directs us through what he calls hints or advice. “It is not a loud and stern and foreign thing, but the quiet and gentle and intimate awakening of children in the Father’s house to life in that house.”
And so as people of faith we believe that we are never fully isolated in this world. There is so much that we may forget but it is not lost because it is in God. We may suffer. The cruelty and injustice may tempt us to despair but we are never completely alone. We just have to know how to seek out this one who is nearer to us than we are to ourselves.
There is a story about a child of a Hasidic rabbi used to go out and wander in the forest. One day his father asked him what he was doing. The boy said, “I go to the forest to find God.” The kindly rabbi said, “That’s wonderful. But you don’t need to go to the forest to find God. Don’t you know that God is the same everywhere?” “God is,” the boy answered, “but I’m not.”
Prayer is also something that we learn and grow in over time. In his book Diary of a Country Priest Georges Bernanos writes about this. “The usual notion of prayer is so absurd. How can those who know nothing about it, who pray little or not at all, dare to speak frivolously of prayer?… If it were really what they suppose, a kind of chatter, the dialogue of a madman with his shadow, or even less – a vain and superstitious sort of petition to be given the good things of this world, how could innumerable people find comfort until their dying day… in the sheer, robust, vigorous, abundant joy of prayer?… Could a sane man set himself up as a judge of music because he has sometimes touched the keyboard with the tips of his fingers?”
One of my favorite parts of the Lewis’ book The Great Divorce is when the ghost of the boy’s mother keeps trying to prove that the angel who greeted her is wrong, that her case is really different, that she loves her son more than God does. And the angel says, “We are all wrong.”
Albert Einstein said that there are two ways of experiencing reality: as if everything is a miracle or as if nothing is. We are all wrong when it comes to God but this week let your life be a miracle. Reach out to the one who is closer to you than you are to yourself. Let us try again to love the Lord with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our mind.
 Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings tr. Leif Sjöberg and W.H. Auden (NY: Alfred A Knopf, 1965) 56.
 Herman Waetjen, Matthew’s Theology of Fulfillment, Its Universality and Its Ethnicity (NY: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017).
 “Now this is the commandment – the statutes and ordinances that that the LORD your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, so that you and your children and your children’s children may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life, and keep his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding to you, so that your days may be long” (Deuteronomy 6:1-2, NRSV).
 C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (NY: Macmillan, 1946) 92.
 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics II.1 The Doctrine of God Tr. T.H.L. Parker, W.B. Johnston, Harold Knight, J.L.M. Hare (NY: T&T Clark, 1957) 169.
 Die Chrisliche Dogmatik im Entwurf, ed. G. Sauter, 1982, 232. Cited in Timothy Gorringe, Karl Barth: Against Hegemony (NY: Oxford University Press, 1999) 106.
 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics IV.1 The Doctrine of Reconciliation tr. G.W. Bromiley (NY: T&T Clark, 1956) 100.
 David J. Wolpe, Why Faith Matters (NY: HarperOne, 2008) 118.
 George Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest.
Thank you, Dean Malcolm Clemens Young, for inviting me home to San Francisco
and Grace Cathedral to deliver this sermon.
And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen, your brother’s blood is crying
out to me from the ground.”
The story of Cain and Abel. “What have you done? Listen, your brother’s blood is
crying out to me from the ground.”
When I look at the stopped frame on the video of George Floyd’s head and neck
pressed against the ground, and Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck and
a dispassionate gaze, even grin, on Chauvin’s face, I am reminded of images of
lynchings in the United States: lynchings of Native Americans, Latinx, and Asians
as well as Blacks, though predominately Blacks.
In 1900, George Henry White, a Black Republican from North Carolina,
introduced the first anti-lynching bill in Congress. It was defeated in committee. In
1918, the Dyer lynching bill was introduced. Dyer, a white republican from
Missouri, sponsored it. Its intention was to make lynching a federal crime. It
passed in the house. A filibuster by Southern senators stopped its passage.
From 1882 to 1968, two hundred anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress.
Three passed in the house. Seven presidents asked Congress to pass the bill into
federal law. One hundred years – the entire 20th century – and no bill was passed.
Senators Kamala Harris and Corey Booker have authored the Emmett Till Anti-
Lynching Act, which passed in the house this February, by a vote of 410 to 4.
However, on June 4th, while the family of George Floyd and mourners from across
the country gathered in Minneapolis for the first of three memorial services,
funerals for George Floyd, while a throng of international media lined up outside –
more media than at any funeral since Michael Jackson’s – Booker and Harris found
themselves in a hot debate with the one Senator who is holding up passage of the
bill in 2020 – Rand Paul. To date, we have no federal anti-lynching legislation in
the United States.
The late Reverend James Cone, as many of you know, coined the phrase, “Black
liberation theology” in the 1960s. When he was coming to the end of his life, he
wrote the following, in the conclusion of his book, Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell
Nobody: “As I come to the end of my theological journey, I can’t stop thinking
about black bodies. The blood of black people is crying out to God and to white
people from the ground in the United States of America… The blood of Sandra
Bland in Texas and Tamir Rice in Ohio, the blood of the Emanuel Nine in
Charleston, South Carolina and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, the blood
of nearly 5,000 lynched Blacks and the blood of Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, and
Gabriel Prosser, and the many thousands gone, millions gone on the auction block,
under the lash, and in the middle passage. Black blood calls out to God all over this
land. Is anybody listening,” he writes, “to the cries of black blood?” That strange
fruit that Billie Holiday sang about, “Blood on the leaves. Blood at the root.”
James Cone? To answer your question, people are listening all over the world.
During a worldwide pandemic, people are coming out into the streets: London,
Auckland. Amsterdam, Dublin, Nairobi, Berlin, chanting: “I Can’t Breathe,”
“Black Lives Matter!” “The People United will never be defeated.” You’d be
proud. Worldwide, calling out: THIS IS WRONG. Is the good news. The bad news
is that most recently, what called citizens into the streets, is the blood of Breonna
Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. Say their names.
Since I’m speaking in a church, I will ask, ‘What is the role of the church? What is
the potential of the church?’ I’m not a church lady. I was blessed to have been
invited to Grace Cathedral by former Dean Jane Shaw, as its first artist in residence
in 2012. She and I talked a lot about the need for a moral imagination. It is a
privilege to be a part of this community and to have been asked by Dean Young to
deliver this sermon, in these very unsettled times.
After my residency, I returned with violinist Bobby McDuffie, to recite Martin
Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” We only performed a part of that
text and I am not sure if I included this part, which is so important right now:
“There was a time when the church was very powerful — in the time when the early
Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In
those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and
principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of
society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became
disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of
the peace” and “outside agitators.” But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction
that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man.”
What will it take to make this moment, sparked by yet more deaths of Blacks in the
hands of police, into more than entertainment or a distraction during the pandemic,
into more than a salve for anxieties about our unknown futures. What will it take to
make this more than a shaking of heads, and saying – sometimes – more of the
same words, over and over again? Legislation is essential. More human ideas about
the economy are essential. Broadening opportunity is essential. Universal
healthcare is essential. Attacking the social determinants of morbidity with new
strategies and medicine and public health is essential. The rehabilitation of our
public schools is essential. A thorough overhaul of the criminal justice system is
essential. The list is long.
But let us not underestimate the potential of moral energy; it could spark us to DO
what we need to do. What we see in the streets is, metaphorically, a grand opera
not yet written. It is real. Is this a prologue to a tragedy; is it the first act of a
tragedy, the second act of a tragedy, the dénouement of a tragedy? Is it the end of a
tragedy, the conclusion of a dark, bloody, cautionary tale? Where are we? In this
grand, dark drama? Will we move on or will we continue to watch this show, as if
it were a long running television series?
Rabbi David Wolpe told me of the story of the person who said, “I’m only making
a hole in my side of the boat.” “I’m only making a hole in my side of the boat.”
There is no “your side” of the boat.
I can’t tell you what to do. But I believe you can do something. Your way. In the
way how you do it. Imagine it. Think about it. Do it. Have courage.
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Independence in our Interdependence
Last week I was on the phone with my grandmother. She’s 93. She’s lived alone since my grandfather died a couple of years ago, and in the past 3 and a half months I’m pretty sure she’s only left her house once. I’m grateful she’s safe. I’m grateful for her friend who’s been bringing her groceries. I’m grateful for my family who have been by for physically distanced porch visits. My grandmother asked me, “When will this all end?” And I wanted to be there with her, to see her in real life and give her a hug. When will this all end?
It’s been 112 days, I think, since I left my office on a Monday afternoon for what I thought would be 3 weeks of working at home. Back in March I remember talking with a friend about how resilient human beings are, and that we can do anything for a short period of time. The next few months are kind of a blur of emails, zoom meetings, distance learning schedules, some complicated art and engineering projects, lots of hand-washing and a drive-through preschool graduation. Right now, in my household it feels like things are on hold – there are promises that playdates and birthday parties and piano lessons will happen at some point when it’s “safe” – when will this all end?
It seems like something has recently shifted, though. I’m still confident in our resilience. And now I’m even more grateful for our ability to adapt and endure. And I’m frustrated with our short-sightedness and inability to take responsibility, to work together. The work of endurance is hard, though, especially amidst the uncertainty and the absence of predictability.
We’re also in this constant process of letting go – of plans, of hopes, of assumptions and expectations, of the illusion of control, of a naïveté about the systems of dominance that have shaped our modern world and perpetuated horrendous oppression and injustice.
Yesterday was Independence Day, a 4th of July unlike any other, where many of us held the celebration of the Declaration of Independence and its promises of equality, and the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, alongside the hypocrisy and abomination of chattel slavery and its effects which continue to reverberate today.
Frederick Douglass’ gave an important speech in Corinthian Hall to white members of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society on this day in 1852, 168 years ago, in which he says, “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.” These words were offered about a decade before the Civil War, and as the Black Lives Matter Movement reminds us, are still relevant today.
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, in an article published in The Atlantic last year, offers a lens through which to honor the 4th of July. He writes, “We should be celebrating our disobedience, turbulence, insolence and discontent about inequities and injustices in all forms.”
In her book, Disunity in Christ, Dr. Christena Cleveland writes about power and privilege and she offers an insightful reminder of “Christ’s cross-cultural, privilege-abdicating example in the incarnation.”
The incarnation. The Holy One, birthed into this world through Mary, the Theotokos, the God-bearer.
I keep thinking that we are in the midst of birthing something new. I have hope that we are in the process of shaping a new way of being a country, and a new way of understanding and sharing power. I believe the church is being transformed as we discover new ways of connecting with each other and expressing our life in Christ. Education is changing. For many the way in which we work is changing. Our world has fundamentally shifted, and – we’re not quite there yet. The future is not quite clear. The process of laboring a new creation into the world is not usually easy, either. From my experience, there’s an intensity to it, and uncertainty. Each labor unfolds in its own way and there’s an ease that comes with working with it, responding to it and following its rhythms. During my first experience of labor, I remember reaching a point and thinking – I can’t take much more. I’m not going to be able to sustain this. The intensity is too much, and it’s constant, and I need a break but there’s no way to pause this process. It was happening whether I was ready for it or not. And just when it felt like more than I could bear, it was over. And my life has never been the same since. During my second experience of labor I remember all of a sudden realizing that I was holding back, I was fighting against it and while the intensity didn’t diminish, once I chose to work with it, there was an ease, an acceptance of the unfolding experience and once again, my life has never been the same since.
Imagine this new creation. What does it look like to you? Jesus saw a world where the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. Imagine a world where everyone has enough food to eat and a bed to sleep in every night. Imagine a world where we recognize our interdependence and put our neighbors’ needs ahead of our own. Imagine a world where everyone has enough. Imagine a world where justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
We have a responsibility to each other, and we’re in this for the long-haul. Leaning into the discomfort, renewing our minds, opening our hearts, taking action that makes our interconnectedness – our interdependence – visible, this work is tremendous and important. It is holy. And I believe that this work will change us, it will transform us, and we will become a new creation, a beloved community. This work will also exhaust us and deplete us if we approach it alone. Jesus invites us: Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Years ago, when I first started paying attention to this invitation, I imagined picking up a harness of sorts that I expected to be heavy, only to discover it became lighter as I lifted it up onto my shoulders. Then at some point, I began imagining a yoke built for two, with Jesus shouldering one side as I took my place next to him, teammates working together side by side, knowing that when I grew tired, he would be there to support the weight and carry me through. Recently I’ve been imagining a different kind of yoke – one that doesn’t make any sense or seem in the least bit practical – it extends out in every direction connecting person to person – a bit like how I’ve been envisioning church during these last few months of virtual gathering – a network of sorts, each of us connected to each other. An interdependent chosen family of people linked together. There are so many of us, connected in all directions, the yoke stretching beyond the limits of our vision. It’s massive and yet there’s a lightness, an ease and flexibility to it, because it’s the body of Christ. The church – where together, with Christ moving in us and through us and among us, we can do far more than we could imagine.
From today’s Psalm:
1 I will sing of your steadfast love, My God [O Lord], forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. AMEN.
Good Morning and Happy Pride Day!
If this were any other Pride Day, this would be the point where we would have hooting and hollering, we’d be cheering with the festiveness this day has come to represent for the community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and other sexual minorities, also known as the LGBTQIA+ community. I trust some of you are shouting in your homes, and I know that my heart is filled with memories of Pride Days gone by…especially my first Pride March: the beauty and the spectacle, the empowerment and of course, the music and dancing.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride March, the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, held on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City. And although for all of our well-beings, we are not having Pride Marches, we are indeed witnessing, and some of us participating in various ways, in the ongoing struggle, the ongoing movement for human rights, as people march in the streets across the nation and the world, demanding that black and brown bodies be treated with the dignity and respect that is the right of every person.
And for those who know history, we understand that the demand for equal rights and protection under the law being made today is another manifestation of that demand made in the Village 51 years ago. The Stonewall Inn catered to the most marginalized in the gay community, a description that sounds painfully familiar: people of color, gender non-conforming folks, homeless youth and transgender people, who survived on the streets hustling what they could, even their own bodies. Faced with yet another violent police raid, where the primary transgression was their very existence as LGBTQ persons, the queens rose up, as others before them sat-in, and fought back, leading to three days of rioting, which galvanized and organized LGBT societies into activists. Today we remember and celebrate Marsha P. Johnson, who was part of the Stonewall Riots, an advocate for justice and equal rights, and Sylvia Rivera who together with Marsha established STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) to help homeless young drag queens, gay youth and trans women.
They represent a prophetic move embodying God’s truth, a self-evident truth declared although not yet realized in this nation’s founding documents, that all “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And as Jeremiah attests to, and we ourselves have witnessed, a prophetic word is not welcome when it calls us to account for our transgressions against each other, when it calls out injustice and unfaithfulness to God’s word and will for us. False prophets may declare prosperity and peace, but while God’s children, and especially the least of these, the marginalized and the oppressed, are crushed with reckless disregard for the sanctity of their lives, we will know no peace. No justice, no peace.
For those of us who believe, who know and understand the wisdom and the power of Jesus, who seek to live in a Kin-dom of abundant and everlasting life, where justice and righteousness are the watch words and peace and love are enjoyed, we have our marching orders here in the 10th chapter of Matthew. I invite you to read it to understand the times in which we are living and the call of God to live as faithful disciples, students of the Good News.
In today’s gospel reading we are both encouraged and challenged. Jesus after describing the hard road that awaits those who follow him, encourages them, reminding them that as they seek to speak and practice justice, heal and care for the wounded, be and learn from the marginalized, they will be a blessing and they will be blessed. They will be blessed by those who welcome them, providing hospitality, however basic, even offering them a drink of water, which in the desert is no small thing.
The gospel lists this triad: the prophets, the righteous and the little ones, and they can describe different members of the community, but they also describe the interrelated aspects of our discipleship. One scholar describes them this way: the prophets bring “proclamation and miraculous demonstrations of divine power,” the righteous demonstrate an “enduring pursuit of justice and of the healing and restoration of relationships,” and the little ones, the vulnerable, discounted, devalued, show that this whole enterprise is God’s mission, we are “wholly dependent on God’s power and presence.” (Saunders)
That last group, the little ones, might come as a surprise. We might have expected “the wise ones,” or “the holy ones,” (Saunders) but instead it reflects reality, how God’s mission is lived out in the world: change does not, and never has come from some hero, some eloquent speaker, some person in power. What was true in 1857 is true in 2020, in the words of Frederick Douglass: “Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.” Or in the words of June Jordan, “we are the ones we have been waiting for.”
Here lies the encouragement and the challenge. Reading this gospel in today’s context, we are invited to understand that this is about us coming and going. That we are to live into our call to be prophets, speak truth, show miraculous power, what God can do through us; to be righteous and give ourselves to the enduring pursuit of justice and healing; to be the little ones, vulnerable, learning, growing. And that although it will not be easy we will be welcomed and refreshed, those who will minister to us will be blessed as we are blessed by their ministrations.
But we are also invited to understand that we are called to welcome and minister to the prophets, the righteous and the little ones. Those who have felt the movement of the Spirit and are encouraged and bold, demanding their humanity be recognized and accorded the dignity and justice that are their inalienable right as the children of God.
Welcome those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, who seek justice from the systems that are sworn to serve and protect, welcome those involved in the Poor People’s Movement, who seek to unite us across lines of difference as we demand good and just salaries, health care, education, environmental care from institutions created to serve the common good, welcome those who continue the fight for LGBTQ rights, because the right to marry, and now, thank God, the right to work without suffering discrimination, is only the beginning of insuring equal rights.
We are to welcome these prophets, these righteous, these little ones: Not tolerate, and not suspect, or judge, or fear, but welcome, because we who seek to live into God’s will understand that by welcoming these strangers, we may be entertaining angels unaware. (Hebrews 13:2)
In these welcoming and refreshing encounters we, “us and them,” we, will be blessed and we will be a blessing. These relationships will strengthen us, feed us, and help us to grow. Together we will learn to live more fully into God’s call for us, that we would be fully human, humane in our treatment of one another and of all God’s creation, that we might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10).
So today we remember and celebrate those who have gone before us and all those who journey with us in seeking justice. Let us remember and celebrate our call to be righteous and prophetic little ones, relying on the power of God to transform us and through us the world. Let us welcome one another, and keep the feast. May the party begin!