Living through My Purpose and Living throughout the Promise

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The unknown has always left me curling my toes and gripping the platform of life so tightly

I believed that if I just remained still, rooted and grounded, I would be safe

I allowed other to be thrust into the brilliance of sunbeams

But somehow, I always found myself there

As we have been taking the Gospel to the streets, in this new Civil Rights Movement, my husband and I have participated in many smaller marches, with people unknown

One such gathering turned into a march down a South Side street, and as I attempted to move out of the organizers way, somehow I was at the front-even as I shifted several times, there I was

I suppose humorously this has been a reflection of my life these past five years

This year slowly, at least in the here and now, is beginning to bow from the stage

This journey has been bittersweet

I continued this path and purpose the Creator has placed me on

Sometimes with tears

Sometimes with joy

Always full of questions, wandering and wondering

Watching the horizons which seemingly have rushed up to meet me

Watching those who this part of the journey is over, lift their hands in sending and with their love

Hearing one voice sooth me over all of the rest, a gift from the Creator

the knowledge that beyond my journey, there is an adventure waiting

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For now, I cradle the gift that the Creator has bestowed upon me,

delight in it

study it

wonder about it

be content with it

this purpose of sharing my witness

carrying with me the Gospel

to flood the streets with the Creator God’s unconditional love for all of us

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Curtains Drawn, the Mirror still reflecting and Beyond

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My  very being seemingly feels as if this is a moment of waiting

So very thankful to be in this moment, however, as the horizon raises up to meet me

even as my heart still refuses to vacate from the Cradle of the Creator’s hands

The morning of my Approval Meeting

my very being wept

I know the Creator walks with me, surrounds me but how fearful was I

and how I called out for strength

and how I called out for My Granny

and how the reverberating memory of her thoughtful gaze

and the reverberating power of life eternal

echoed as I heard her call me, beyond….

And so what journey God had brought and laid out before me came to fruition

and so now I wait…

Shiny, new, Approved for Ordination

What else does the Creator have in store for me?

My daughter inquired where I would like to serve-

Wouldn’t I wish to go elsewhere?

I am just thankful that there are those who recognize and welcome the gifts the Creator gives me

I go, where God sends

I go, where the Holy Spirit leads

I go, where Christ calls

I go, and my Ancestors dance, encouraging, loving, guiding me

Because God’s word, more so now than at any time needs to be heard

Because My People are crying out for justice

Because we are-beloved of God…

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A Prophetic Voice in the Wilderness

Grace and peace to you, my sisters and brothers in Christ

In this season of Advent

That through the coming of a Savior

We might find ourselves transformed

Through the power of the Holy Spirit

To shout throughout the wilderness

Of the Light of this World, Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen.

 

I don’t know about you,

But lately I have been at a loss for words

My heart has been heavy

My spirit weary

My entire being frightened

Because there is a fracture at seeing the reflection of Christ

In the sacredness of Black and Brown and Red faces

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(pause)

Advent is supposed to be a time of anticipation

Anticipating time with community, lighting candles

Joining our hands, joining our voices in prayer

Anticipating time with family

Joining in laughter

A moment where time seems to slow

Moments where our regular, harried lives are suspended

Moments where we have a moment to breathe

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(pause)

Our spiritual journeys are thrown into a sense of mysteriousness

Ourselves on our knees, because there is something in the atmosphere

We know that time is coming

When we hear Mary’s voice in hymns of waiting and preparing

My soul magnifies the Lord

For he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant”

We hear Mary’s voice as we gather as people of faith

Gathering to celebrate the profound transformation that comes through a life

So fragile, so simple

Celebrating a new birth that stands to transform our world

Out of the darkness it is seemingly is steeped in

(pause)

But this Advent our souls are restless

Because the only song sung is Rachel lamenting, weeping over her children

Cradling those brown and black bodies in the streets

And we find ourselves flooding out into the open

Flowing as angry streams of suffering

Filling the atmosphere, exclaiming

I know one thing we did right

Was the day we started to fight

Keep your eyes on the prize

O Lord

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And so we have been singing this in the streets

This lamenting echoing even around the world

Those oppressed in Palestine, in China,

Those joining the fight in England and in

Those right here at home, in our own neighborhoods

We have marched in Ferguson, in NYC, in Cleveland, in Detroit

On 95th street in bus terminals, on 63rd street and King Drive

Marching down 55th and Woodlawn,

Seminarians from different faith expressions

Of different cultures, yes even of different races

We have shut down expressways, highways, walkways

We have left our office buildings, our churches

we have laid in the grass, on the cold ground

We are doing what we are called to do-

to bring good news to the oppressed

To bind up the brokenhearted”

We are professing and proclaiming the Gospel in the streets

Where it needs to be.

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(pause)

This is what we are called to

As brothers and sisters in Christ

Then why has our crying out for justice, for peace, for hope

Everything that Advent is a culmination of

Why are so many of our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ and in Faith

Questioning us of who we are?

Who are you?

Are you the Messiah?

Are you the prophet?”

Why are you even uplifting these boys?

They obviously were already criminals-look at where they lived

Look at how they were dressed

Why are you joining on the side of lawbreakers?

It’s a lost cause

There’s black on black crime

They call each other derogatory names

Why are you not uplifting the police?

You’re wrong for leaving the Seminary and marching for something so ridiculous

I am ashamed at the Church

The Church is not supposed to be involved

The Church is supposed to teach these people to follow the law.

Assimilating to these laws without question

Being submissive to the authoritative powers of this world

Instead of submitting to the restorative power

Of God, Our Creator through the Holy Spirit

Of the Gospel, which “proclaims liberty to the captives

(pause)

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This is where we find John in our Gospel this morning

Questioned, scrutinized about his authority

Because through his crying throughout the wilderness,

This wilderness of humanity judging humanity

Without remembering God’s love and forgiveness

John’s voice was stirring an uncomfortable reality

For many of these Levites and the Jewish priests

One commentary put it very plainly

Secular learning, honour, and power, seldom dispose men’s minds to the reception of divine light

(pause)

John’s presence stirred up uncomfortable truth

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”

John’s ministry had been prophesied as a catalyst to purify the sons of Levi

Turning them back to righteousness

So, the Levites and the priests feared John and his words

John was stirring up the people

I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness”

Out of a place of confusion and of chaos

Out of a place where they rejected hearing the Word of God

Out of a place where they had failed in their relationships

With their neighbor, who they reduced as a stranger

Reducing the covenant that God had made with them

In turned that they should have made with one another.

I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness”

Crying out a message of Liberation

Freedom

Justice

Unity

Peace

(pause)

John witnessed to those in his community

And testifies to us now

prophetic action

Make straight the way of the Lord

That the way of the Lord is wholly triumphant

And fully of tragedy

That the way of the Lord is magnificent

And not malicious

That the way of the Lord calls us into the Light

The Light that can only shatter the oppression

Which poisons and pollutes this world

With God’s everlasting Word that is powerful

Prophetic

Than any destructive policy that they could pass

Than any rigorous laws that are leveled against a people

Whom they deem forgettable

Marginalized

Useless

(pause)

The Good News is that God loves justice

The Good News is that God comes to comfort those who mourn

The Good News is that God has sent the light among all of God’s People

Whether they are brown or black or red or white

Whether they are struggling with their privilege

or striving to exist

The Good News is that Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness

Transcends and shatters the chains that we all wear

Jesus Christ, by whose birth this world is transformed into something new

By whose death this world is transformed at the foot of the Cross

By whose resurrection floods God’s People with foolishness

Foolish enough that we would take the Gospel to the streets

That we would inundate this world by marching, singing, praying

In the Light of God

Because we are not the Messiah, or even a prophet

But our collective voices are crying out in the wilderness

In the streets

In the jails

In the hospitals

Exposed to this world, proclaiming

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon all of us

God has sent us to bring Good News to the oppressed

To bind up those brokenhearted mothers and fathers

To Proclaim liberty to those held captive by this world

That we are no longer prisoners

But FREE

(pause)

Thanks Be to God.

At the Crossroads

Twilight within my heart

There is a chanting within my blood

There are voices raised

but you are not privy

There is a presence

but you are not aware

Aware of the heaviness that weighs

of the beauty

connected with the ancestors

in sacred spaces

All I want to do is dance

All I want is for these people to disperse

All I wanted to do

was remain on the floor

and hold her hand

All I’ve wanted

was to return to a time

when I was small

and she was full of life

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full of life that is equal

Equal to how we fluidly came

into sacred spaces

Spaces that shift, move and breathe

Can’t you see the dew

Can’t you feel the wind

Can’t you hear the Creator’s calling

I guess that’s why we are here, right?10404448_10154861562655532_8486268226180457325_n

All we’ve ever wanted

is to be seen as full of ruach

of the essence of the Creator

in sacred spaces

Sacred in this room filled

Sacred outside on sidewalks

filled with people

People who raised their voices

People who perhaps don’t see me as different

Different because my skin is a memory of ancestry

Ancestry steeped in the rhythm

Rhythm of drums that still cause me to rise

Raise my head proudly

Proud because that is the crown of hope I carry

Carrying the stories of the divine imprint

fingerprint we all share

Sharing one body, one blood

is frightening to some

Because that means when they raise their fist

those weapons

Trying to erase their sins

looped over and again throughout the ages

The scars show up on different facesimagesferguson

But the pain is still ugly

ugliness in the fact of the demands to assimilate

Assmilate

eradicate

Forget

Forgive

Forgiving roots us in our

connection to the Divine

Divine Creator

Comforter of our Souls

Souls which are Black

because that is how the Creator painted us

From Blackness was Birthed

The Essence

The Life

Look, the Heavens are Cradled in Blacknesseca5f51f2aafc202c7d5f61bcd9e51ca

with reminders of the power of the Holy Spirit

Spirit sparkling as stars

Stars each illuminating

The Love that God has

This Blackness that God cradles us

We, too, God’s Creation

Creating,

Manifesting,

Living

Breathing

Magnifying who we are in each step

Steps of joy, of wonder

Steps running through fields

Steps running away from fear

Steps running to someone arms

Steps running into the veil

Because of GOD

They made a mistake

Because this life sometimes makes

folks run blindly

Blinded because they are blinded

Not seeing this child, that boy

that woman, this man

As their sisters and brothers

bonded by the BloodCivil rights protestors are attacked with a water cannon.

We are different from our journeys

Journeys that are winding

Breathing

Failing

Falling

Struggling

Reaching

Reaching up from the floor

where we sat

holding her hand

as she lay dying

weeping, remembering

watching the dancing

of the saints and ancestors

surrounding the crossroads

where my Savior stood

who welcomes us home

who welcomes our presence

to stand at the crossroads

in the shadow

of the foolishness

of God