Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 9:30 am
It is with joy and heaviness that I join you this Sunday for our weekly worship. I look forward to sharing a sacred time of reflection before we begin our work week. Yet, once again, our country mourns and cries out at the seemingly constant gun violence. I’d like to say that I am shocked by what happened in Highland Park, but I am not. I’d also like to believe that this will be the last one, but I cannot. All I can do is express the tension between deep sadness and anger AND the hope and faith that I have in the risen Christ who invites us to participate in the “alreadyness” of new creation.
We will continue our series in Galatians, focusing on 3:23-29, which proclaims faith over the law and unity with no separation. I wrote this sermon prior to the July 4th shooting. However, I invite you to consider that faith and unity are exactly what are needed to exist within the tension of our current world. Through our faith in Christ Jesus, we are set free. This freedom does not mean that we can ignore the injustices of this world. Rather, this freedom offers us courage and boldness to respond. Our faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, informs and guides us on how we will show up each day.
And when we show up, we show up together. One of Paul’s main points in Galatians is that no one should be excluded, regardless of one’s ethnicity, gender, vocation, status, sexuality, ability etc. There is a deeper meaning to unity woven throughout our scriptures. We have all heard the saying “two is greater than one.” From the very beginning, God tells us that humanity is meant to be in relationship – to be in community (Gen 2:18). When we exclude others and/or separate ourselves from others, humanity struggles.
During these challenging times, when there are often more questions than answers, it is in this SDUMC community that we can listen to each other. We can share our laments over the innocent people killed and injured at Highland Park. We can express our anger at those in leadership who fail to act. And we can come together to identify bold ways of action and hold each other accountable.
My hope for this Sunday is that we can be vulnerable and authentic about the tension around us and gently nudge each other to take a step into an uncomfortable space that only happens with and through our faith.
Please join us as we continue this challenging yet hope-filled journey. There will be an 8:00 a.m. abbreviated Chapel service with communion and a 9:30 a.m. worship
Peace and Grace,