Who Me, God?

Grace and Peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

God’s Word is proclaimed

God uses the ordinary,

Because it is only through our witnessing

To one another

We have the power to proclaim

Healing and Hope

And of the coming salvation

Of the Kingdom of God

Of Jesus Christ

Amen.

What audacity people have these days,

Taking it upon themselves

Bringing God outside of that box

We sometimes place God in

(Step out from the pulpit and tell the congregation that you’d like to share from the Lutheran magazine from February of this year, a Letter to the Editor; someone who was irate that a bunch of seminarians had the audacity to do something out of the box, and be present and public with those who were beyond the least of these, but those who caring for these sisters and brothers in Christ was unheard of, almost taboo. Read the piece, and then share how December 1st of 2014-these same seminarians from Chicago Theological Seminary and McCormick Presbyterian and yes, LSTC decided to be reckless-to depart from the normal routine, to gather as people of faith, leaving exams and papers and meetings behind-

And take the Gospel to the streets.

How we had the audacity to disrupt the normal quiet of the chill of winter,

And raised our voices in righteous anger

Marching down Woodlawn Avenue toward’s Obama’s residence

Protesting a system,

Protesting laws

Which leave our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ

Embedded in brokenness

Instead, having the audacity to break chains

Working towards restoration

Restoring life to people,

Even when, yes

We acknowledge those same lives are twisted away sometimes

From Light and Life

From Faith

From Peace.

We, as committed children of God

Decided that the tranquil silence of Advent

Needed to be shattered

Reminding people that just because our streets

Trees

Houses

Are dripping in holiday glamour

That was not reason to attempt

To mask

Cover up

The real pain that exists no matter what the season

Suffering knows no boundaries

Neither does it care

We simply understood we had to prepare the way

(pause)

Preparing the way for a shift in our atmosphere,

Being bold, unashamed,

Just like thousands of people who were turning over tables in the streets

Blocking doors

Proclaiming and breathing out the power of the Gospel

That they too, were preparing the way

Having the audacity and the courage

To disrupt the normalcy of Black Friday

Speaking the truth about the righteousness of God,

For even yes, the thieves, and the beggars

Not afraid of baring their faith naked,

To a world who just wanted for them to shut up

Cover up

And get with the program

Of masking the pain we all carry

Just like Tamar Messenah, a sister

A friend

Following her call to be Rabbi

Unrelenting in her audacity to invade people’s lives

With her kindness

Invading spaces which only those who are filled with the Holy Spirit

Can walk,

Can exist

In an ugly wilderness

She continues to keep vigil on Chicago’s streets

Long after the powers that be have dismissed ideas

That will not wrap them in glittery green

Long after unhealthy solutions that are unfit

For a multicultural way of uplifting a community

Have staggered growth, progress and reconciliation

She has her nerve

To bring her nosiness

Her fierceness

Her selflessness

Her friends and community

Into the midst

Witnessing

Disrupting the status quo of violence

Boldly extending her hands

Her heart

Her faith

Who she is

And the peace that she brings

From God

Preparing the way

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord”

What was God thinking about?

Here God

Giving life to all Creation

Gave life to leaders of this world

Leaders who had prominence

Titles

Wealth

Stature

Anyone of these were worthy of herding

Announcing

The Messiah

This King of Kings!

And instead God had the audacity

To fill this wild eyed prophet

This ordinary man

With clothes in disrepair

Homeless

Wandering in the wilderness

With a Spirit

With a Fire

This man called John

To declare that we, as people of God

Need suffer no more

Need rely on this world, no more

Need not cower, and weep no more

That the Son of Man was coming

This, this man called John

Was whom the Creator entrusted for this mission and ministry

That ALL

Not a chosen few

Or a chosen Tribe

Or a sector of the Roman Empire

Or a privileged class

But ALL would see

Feel

Be immersed in the salvation

The FREEDOM

Of the Creator God

John wanders through the wilderness

The wilderness of empty temples devoid of people who were welcomed

Empty churches devoid of the Holy Spirit

Empty streets devoid of a sense of faithfulness

Empty hearts devoid of any hope

John declares in our Gospel this morning,

The same message that has been proclaimed throughout time

“PREPARE”

Prepare for change to rush in,

Overflowing

Overpowering

Dragging away in its waves

Any fear,

Any despair

Any despondency

Change that erupts and stretches out

As only the Holy Spirit can

Prepare for the coming of the One,

Whose presence

Whose touch

Whose WORD

IS INTENSE AND DRIVES OUT

EVERYTHING

That keeps US

From being connected

To the Creator GOD

Isn’t it strange

And wonderful

That something so ridiculously minuscule

As a mustard seed

Something that perhaps is that tiny,

Our faith

Has the ability to BLOSSOM

FLOURISH

Crowding out helplessness

And ushers us into a crowded, ordinary space

Where we experience Love

God’s Love for us!

Isn’t it Good News,

That God, Our Redeemer loved us so much,

That God prepared the way for our salvation

Through something as small,

And ordinary

As a babe

Jesus Christ.

(pause)

So,

How will you prepare the way

For the coming of the Kingdom of God,

For the coming of the Lord?

Yes, you

We are ordinary people,

What can we do, right?

But WE DO have that POWER

We have the audacity to SPEAK TRUTH,

SPEAK LIFE

Go out and share the GOOD NEWS

Because through ordinary people

Through orphans, widows, unwed teenage mothers,

Unemployed adults, forgotten elders

We see God transforming this place

And US, beloved

That is how God Loves US

God picking US, ordinary

To proclaim that GOD is here,

Forever!

Thanks Be to God

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