Speechless

O Lord Hear my Prayer

O Lord Hear my Prayer,

When I call

Answer me

O Lord Hear My Prayer

O Lord Hear My Prayer

Come and Listen to me

(pause)

This song resonated with me

This song remained with me this week

This is the only thing that my heart could muster

I am speechless, beloved

Because

The cries continue

A voice cries out in the bleak wilderness

A cry is heard in Ramallah

It echoes in Charleston

And in Orlando

Deep anguish

Bitter weeping

Rachel weeps,

Mothers weep

Fathers weep

We as a community weep

For our Children

For our sisters and brothers

And we cannot

We refuse

To be comforted

Because this sickness of violence

Is warped into the fabric of our everyday

It has been one year,

Since Charleston

It has been one week,

Since Orlando

And beloved,

I cannot ignore the cries

As Called and Ordained

As a Follower of Christ

I cannot stand here

And tell you

That I am not affected

I cannot preach

A feel good Gospel,

The Good News of Jesus Christ,

Tells us

Reminds us,

That we are LOVED

Through all of the persecution

We as followers of Christ

Have experienced

But,

Our response

To these tragedies

Is not

APATHY

Our response

Is Prayer

Our response

Is through Prayer

Our response

Is Love

Through Action

Our response

Is to do,

Something

Our response

As Christians,

Is to be public with our witness

Professing

Proclaiming

We serve a mighty God

Whose omnipotent presence,

And everlasting love

Knows no boundaries

And, yes

Who weeps

(pause)

In the movie,

Passion of the Christ

As Jesus gives up His life,

There is this one stark scene

Where a single raindrop

Hovers

Falls

As if God is weeping

As if God is mourning this devastating loss

Isn’t it Good News to know

That just as the Creator weeps for Jesus,

That God weeps for us?

For every life lost

For every life taken for granted

For every time

Humanity submits to the demonic

(pause)

Is it strange to hear

God’s Lament

Here in Isaiah?

I held out my hands

All day long

To a rebellious people

Who walk in a way

That is not good”

The Creator God is lament as God’s People

Return from exile

Establishing order,

And community

Would not be easy for a people who had been oppressed,

Enslaved

They were faced with

Famine,

Economic downturn

Political jockeying for power

And forgot whose they were

Instead relying on faith, they turned inward

They stopped listening to the whispers in Creation

Messages from God

They wore masks and appeared holy

While rejecting their responsibility to one another

Deeming themselves and their status to being too important

Creating and enjoying privilege at the cost of others

(pause)

Martin Luther warns us in his writings

That we as humanity

Routinely bend inward

Away from God

“A people who provoke me,

To my face continually”

Because we are prideful

Spiteful

We attempt to be our own god,

the ground of our own existence

Severing ties,

And bit by bit,

Unraveling the beloved community

(pause)

Therefore then, its easy to refuse

Those who come into sacred spaces

Whom we do not know

A meal,

The Table

Simply because they are different

The peace

Simply because they look different

We are stingy with this precious gift of Agape

We judge the “other” as being unworthy

As if we had the power and authority!

(pause)

Or that we misuse our self perceived rights

Simply because Jesus Loved us,

And died for us

Therefore Jesus Christ and all His power

Selfishly belongs to the “in crowd”

But we forget that the word “rights”

Means stewardship

The responsibility for one another

The joy of serving, working

Community

Aren’t we, as God’s Beloved

Supposed to do because of Love?

(pause)

Each breath,

We exhale,

Is our souls

Reaching outward

To the Light

Towards the presence

Of the One

Who has the Power

To wipe away all tears

To heal us

To exorcise us out of darkness

The darkness

Which overpowers us

In our weakness

In our sins

Seduces

Traps

Binds us

Until we can not hear

“Go in Peace”

Until we can not hear

“You are Loved”

Until we can not hear

“You are forgiven”

And instead,

We are lost

And we cannot wipe away the scales

Plastered to our eyes

So we don’t see

The reflection of the Christ

In one another

And we find ourselves

Possessed

Damaged

Unsalvageable

(pause)

And suddenly,

We somehow see,

Just as this unknown man saw

Just as that which was poisonous within him

Knew,

Recognized the One

Who had, Who has

POWER

RESURRECTION POWER

Over death

Over evil

And COMMANDS IT

TO LEAVE US

BECAUSE WE ARE GOD’S.

Because there is nothing on this Earth

That has the cure,

Like Jesus Christ

NOTHING!

(pause)

But,

Sometimes,

The demonic refuses to let go

And suddenly

One person

Is lost in that darkness

Goes into a church

Violates Holy people

Goes into a school

Violates innocent lives

Goes into a place of social gathering

Violates sacred bodies

(pause)

But the Good News is,

God does not give up

On us

As the wine is found in the cluster,

And they say, do not destroy it

So I will do for my servants’ sake

And not destroy them all.”

(pause)

Holy Spirit moved at this point to charge the congregation not to judge but to embrace; reminded as just as there were 49 places in various pews in our congregation that were empty, these stood for the 49 people who were murdered because of who they were and who they loved

 

Thanks Be to God.

 

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