Source: Racism: A White Male Perspective
Invariably, in the lives of virtually every Christian of African descent, there comes a time where you have to reflect upon the ways that white supremacy have made their mark on you – all the…
Pierre Bourdieu interprets and defines of habitus eludes to “a deeply buried structure that shapes peoples dispositions to act in such ways that they wind up accepting the dominance of others or of the system”. This clearly plays out especially through faith and spirituality, in that most colonized/formerly enslaved peoples in North America have taken on what is considered truth that was forcibly fed to them from white Christian slave owners to white Christian colonizers and missionaries. James Baldwin eludes to culture as “not a community basket weaving project, nor yet an act of God; being nothing more or less than the recorded and visible effects on a body of people of the vicissutes which they have been forced to deal with” and this is key to beginning the conversation of resistance.
Incorporating our organic way of celebrating and worshiping the Creator IS the beginning of liberation and resistance.
Sharing my words and thoughts, as I offered through Dr. Linda Thomas’s blog: We Talk, We Listen.
Invariably, in the lives of virtually every Christian of African descent, there comes a time where you have to reflect upon the ways that white supremacy have made their mark on you – all the more so if you are a pastor. In our second post celebrating African Descent History month, this week’s author, Rev. Kwame Pitts (LSTC, 2015), shares some of her own powerful journey in her inimitable poetic style – and how she mines the richness and vitality of her African spiritual roots in her work as a Christian and Lutheran pastor. Read, comment, and share!
Rev. Dr. Linda E. Thomas – Professor of Theology and Anthropology, Chair of LSTC’s Diversity Committee, Editor – “We Talk. We Listen.”
“By re-recognizing a pagan understanding of our origins and the dynamics of culture, cultivation and worship and by returning to a connection with our roots and origins, we might begin to reestablish…
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“Blessed are you when people revile you
and persecute you
and utter all kinds of evil against you
falsely on my account”
for you are the salt of the earth
Were the salt of the earth.
How often have we heard that common phrase invoked
As we are remembering those who have been in our lives
Whose sometimes larger than life presence
Kept us in awe
And seemingly too,
The significant piece of Fabric in communities
Which couldn’t have even thrived
Without these sisters and brothers,
Who were the salt of the earth.
Many of you never met
Our sister in Christ,
She was homebound,
Unable to join us here at Redeemer,
So we brought Church to her.
As I met with her family for the first time last week,
Preparing for a celebration of her life,
It was clear
The stories that were shared with me,
Because of her graciousness
She was indeed,
The salt of the earth
To those she had touched,
As they mourned
It was apparent
Seemingly didn’t have that same zest
Each of our siblings in Christ
In their own way
The salt of the earth,
Through their perseverance
In the places they were called
Through their dedication
To their families-
Through their faith,
As they served and extended God’s Peace,
In this sacred space
I am sure if you ask anyone
Who was honored to call them
Has lost a bit of flavor
With their absence
What does it mean to be
The salt of the earth?
Just being the embodiment,
Of how Jesus Christ has impacted our life
The prophetic witness
Of not being afraid,
To speak truth
Of what the Gospel calls us to
A living testament
Of how the Holy Spirit
To help those who are oppressed
To find their voice
To shine LIGHT
On the injustice
And guiding those who have been wrongly accused
It is a cry against the unjust empire
And always present,
Shining a LIGHT
Continues to push against the boundaries,
In our Gospel this morning
That the status quo spelled out to the common people
Using the ancient laws,
For tearing down,
And exposing one’s iniquities
That because they somehow incurred God’s wrath,
Because of the sins of their ancestors
And were subjected to a life of servitude
But Jesus utters words of hope
“Blessed are YOU…”
And reminds those who felt lost
They are the salt of the earth.
Does not hide who He is,
Nor will He shrink
From the shadows of oppression
Whose wounds are visible,
Whose listlessness continues to fester
Shaking them from the complicity
Of just sitting on the sidelines
Of believing the lies,
That they should just conform,
That they should not challenge
That they are the light of the world,
And that light must be seen,
Guiding those who have been missing,
Or those whose very spirit,
Has gone dormant.
Empower us today, beloved
That we are the salt of the earth.
We have a purpose
We cannot allow others to dictate to us
Who we are,
And how we live out our lives,
And this call,
This goes beyond the ordinary,
Of just receiving God’s Grace,
Of coming to the Table,
And being Fed.
Let me ask you a question-
Do you know who you are?
Do you revel in your saltiness?
Or do you think
That you have nothing to offer,
That no one will miss the essence
That is you
Do you believe at how your LIGHT
Into someone’s life
Who needs to know,
That they are not alone?
Do you hesitate?
That this may not be the right time to shine,
Or not even proper for us
To stand out
To speak out
Children of the Most High!
Why should we be afraid?
And if we do that,
Martin cared not
About how his saltiness
Caught those in power
Or that his light
Blinded those who were delving in the darkness
So why don’t we follow his example?
And be bold?
Following Jesus means,
We are going to be salty,
If being salty means that who that we are irritates
Those who are attempting to break the bonds of the beloved community
Away from the Creator God,
We are following what Jesus Calls us to
Following Jesus means,
We should burn brightly,
That we blind those,
Who have chosen to keep the shades drawn
And attempt to block out the LIGHT of GOD,
We are committed then,
To refusing to hide our Light
That we are NOT ASHAMED
Of how we are Called
Because who we are
DOES make a difference
So what if our neighbors,
Don’t agree with how we share the Good News,
How public we feel moved,
To not only walk with the
The Samaritan woman
The homeless youth
But to publicly shine our LIGHTS
Into that darkness,
Where those who would rather
For the destruction,
Of God’s Beloved people
We have to remember,
On what we stand on
We must remember,
That Baptism is more than some ritualized action
We are given a candle,
With letting our light shine.
Do you believe
And all of His Promises
And His Word
And His POWER?
And His Peace?
Be THAT disruptive,
Thanks Be to God
The new normal
That many of us face each morning,
Is a distressing reality.
The Good News is
Of sisters, brothers, siblings
There is sacredness
Where we can begin to craft and mold
A sense of peace.
Words that pour from deep within,
Are examples of the hope
That we know
Can break every chain.
Is slowly evolving
Into such a place
Where many are seeing
One of my colleagues,
Serving in an ELCA congregation
Shared his interpretation
Of the Beatitudes,
In this way:
Blessed are the atheists, for they’re more courageous than the Christians
Blessed are the undocumented, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the refugees, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those court-martialed because they refuse to torture, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, those who do not repay their enemies or reward their friends, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, who refuse to fly drones, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for resistance to unjust rule, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”for they will inherit the earth.
From where you sit,
You are immersed
In these words
The hope that it translates for those
Who are routinely disregarded
For who they are
And how they cling to life,
It indeed speaks volumes
That God’s mercy
Is for ALL
Your own nature just might be shook
Reaction to these words
Much like one dissenter among the comments
On Clint’s post,
Who seemed outraged
Were deemed to be,
Raised up higher
Than those of us
Who have rightful claim
To our spiritual birthright
You are questioning,
Of why I am even sharing this,
And where is my own
“Blessed are the poor in spirit”
Perhaps these are the moments,
When we as people of faith,
Need to turn inward
And examine the ways
We refute Christ’s teachings,
Refuse to follow His commandments
Refuse to emulate
We confess to follow
Why are we surprised
That there are indeed
Those who are
And why do we become so divisive
Poor in spirit
Are the ONES
WHO EXUDE MORE FREELY GOD’S GRACE!
Jesus’s own Words here,
In the Beatitudes
As He was teaching His disciples
Were seen as radical,
By teaching His disciples,
Was gathering up the resistance!
By daring to preach against the status quo
Jesus was indeed,
Starting a revolution!
Why is it so offensive,
To even ponder who Jesus was and is,
In this fashion?
Disturb the status quo,
Disrupt the order of things
Challenge the comfortable
These lessons are not to be so lightly treated
As a metaphor
Or something in the abstract
Or worth only for historical note,
And cannot be translated into the present day-
Because the refugees are crowding us out,
We proudly proclaim
To welcome the poor,
Or that the undocumented
Are a threat to our livelihood
While voluntarily accepting employment that,
Let’s be real,
None of us would accept the conditions
Or the wages
Of just $5/hr
With no benefits in sight.
Here in our Gospel this morning,
With His Prophetic Teaching
Of the Word
Spoke to those who were present,
Who needed to hear
That the Creator indeed
Encouraging God’s People
To break every chain
Speaks to us now,
Who need to be reminded
That God does stand with the oppressed
To break those chains
Who are poor in spirit
Who are sometimes labeled as weak,
Because we do follow Christ’s commandment
To love one another
Because we are working,
Towards the beloved community
Because we are not afraid,
To stand up
Of where they come from,
Or how they worship God
Because we are persecuted
For standing with,
The mentally ill
The formerly incarcerated
That is the Good News this morning.
To those who are gathered,
And to us
Was an affirmation
Of both their humanity,
God’s unfailing Love!
Conditions in Jesus’s time,
For those who were regulated to
Last citizenship class
Were one under an oppressive
Many were indeed,
Poor in spirit
Angry with God for abandonment
Declaring they had no allegiance
To a broken life
For us NOW!
And if we cling to this truth,
And proclaim we are Christ’s followers,
“and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
This is not just words on paper,
For us to THINK about theologically
THIS IS OUR MARCHING ORDERS.
Do we believe we are blessed?
So then what is our responsibility?
One of my pastoral besties is here this morning,
As a Woman of Color
From her heart,
Shares how she sees the Beatitudes
In this way,
Blessed are the Muslims
Blessed are the Sanctuary churches
Blessed are the resistance
Blessed are the marginalized
Blessed are those who are putting their bodies,
And lives for justice and liberation
Blessed are our children
That they may one day know
A world without hate and violence
Thanks Be to God.
(Children’s Sermon: Invite the children forward, greeting them. Then ask them if you can teach them a skit that you learned at Summer Camp, specifically LOMC. Gather them up in a line, and tell them to dance in place while singing their name or shaking a tambourine while doing the same. Then ask them, what if someone came around and laughed at them, and pointed and spoke about them rather negatively-how would they feel. Then ask them what happens when someone comes after the bully, and sees them sad and goes to them and says “YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!” And how would that make them feel, and then they would go to the next person, and the next and so on? Ask them to process-what have we learned here: 1) That we are Children of God, and because we are immersed in God’s Light, we can’t keep it or hold it to ourselves, and therefore we have to go out and remind others, and that is living out our faith! So give the children the task of going out and reminding others that they are too, children of God!)
When did you, beloved
Fully realize that YOU
Were a Child of God?
How was that cemented along your spiritual journey,
Into who you are?
The roots, many of us agree
Were planted within us,
As small children in Sunday School
Affirmed publicly as we received gifts of first Bibles
And that moment of truth,
When the Table was opened to us,
Receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Was it in that moment
That we truly felt we were children of God?
Did the disciples experience this same unbridled joy,
Suddenly they were acknowledged as children of God,
When Jesus called to them,
Invited them to walk alongside Him
Embraced them as fellow brothers,
In this moment,
Came off of the pathways
Of these various roads of Life
Into the midst of God’s people,
Who needed to feel the presence of God,
Who needed to hear God’s Voice
When have we come to the realization,
That we were children of God?
Has it come in those prophetic moments,
Witnessing our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ,
And therefore impacting our lives!
Because of what they do for us,
The truth of how much we are connected to one another,
Beyond family lineage
Or social location and context,
BUT because of our common bond
That extends from Creator God?
Stories, are important,
They give a snapshot on how the presence of the Creator, Our Redeemer
Molds and shapes our lives,
And how each step was guided,
And the breath of how the Holy Spirit fills us,
Even when we sometimes wander off into the mists
Many of my faith experiences,
Were magnified throughout Seminary,
And one such experience that I can elude to,
The moment I felt truly,
A Child of God.
During my second year of Seminary,
I attended a conference, if you will
The Congress on Urban Ministry,
Which is a small, ecumenical, urban seminary located in the heart of Chicago
This Congress or conference,
Was a gathering of churches, pastors, seminarians and the like
Concentrating on Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence;
Proclaiming that violence doesn’t just exist on our streets
But sometimes sadly,
Occupies the human heart,
In our human made systems
And immersed in our public policy-
I am sure,
In the time of the disciples,
Although the violence was not as great as perhaps we think of now,
There was violence in the human heart,
As the Roman Empire did not seek reconciliation,
And fellowship with those they suppressed, and lorded over.
The systems set up now,
That divide and are divisive,
Are a part of the same old story,
Because your status in the ancient community,
Depended a lot on human made laws,
With no forgiveness in them,
That those ancient Elders and Rabbis
Seemingly had forgotten they were,
Children of God
This conference was pushing for
That we as Children of God
Live together as a collective, cohesive humanity,
Especially as we think about today,
If we as Christ’s followers
Are dedicated to social transformation
Then it can only be accomplished through PEACE
And we must live that out!
Up until that moment,
As I struggled in my faith journey,
EVEN in seminary,
I did know I was a Child of God,
I rarely lived this reality out!
I had the opportunity to experience this fully,
When I encountered two phenomenal Elders in their own right,
Rev. Dr. James Forbes, who had continued Dr. King’s message,
Who had refused to give up the fight from his pulpit,
And out on the streets as a public witness
And Father Michael Pflager, whose ministry and dedication of his church and community,
Continued to astound me, even today.
Part of the public action during the Congress,
As participants we were to march from our location at a church downtown,
Towards the State of Illinois building,
Raising our voice and our presence,
Both Dr. Forbes and Father Pflager, along a small delegation
Planned to deliver and hopefully speak to Gov. Quinn,
Our collective initiative, in conjunction with a bill
That would be soon presented to the Illinois General Assembly,
Speaking to we as a faith community and our hopes at its passing
To help combat the violence bleeding into the streets,
And unifying those in many neighborhoods,
The organizers of this march asked for two participants of the conference,
To volunteer to go along with Dr. Forbes and Father Plager.
I found my hand in the air,
I found myself joined shoulder to shoulder with others,
Who were not afraid to expose publicly their faith
My soul MOVED!
What stirred and moved Jesus
To begin His ministry?
As people of Faith,
How often do we ponder about HOW Jesus’s ministry began
Jesus’s ministry was not on an automatic timer;
Routinely we are amiss in remembering,
That Jesus Christ took on our nature,
Even, dare say,
And right after Jesus’s experience in the wilderness
His encounter with evil,
Jesus learns of John’s plight incarcerated,
John, His disciple
Because of his civil disobedience
Because of his preaching the Good News,
That Jesus Christ is come
To shatter the status quo
To interrupt the path of the wicked
Is made an example
And this is when Jesus,
Begins His ministry,
Change your minds,
For the kingdom of God
Has come near.”
Dr. King, Jr
Started his own ministry towards nonviolence,
And civil disobedience
After Rosa Parks refused
To have her humanity questioned
“the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned.”
The question before us now,
How will we be motivated,
To immerse ourselves in ministry,
However that evolves for us,
As people of Faith.
We are wading through the difficulty
Of not recognizing the direct connection,
Between what we do
And what we believe.
And then we experience and witness someone
Who unashamedly steps into that Epiphany LIGHT
Living publicly as a Child of God,
By living out their faith unselfishly
Because of the Love
That comes through this TABLE
That seeps into us
Will we remember
Who we are
And what we are called to do?
God’s Call for us, beloved
Is for us to be
CHILDREN OF GOD!
Such Good News,
That Jesus Christ has come,
Bringing the Kingdom of God,
Bringing us HOPE
And the Good News is that,
Jesus Christ stands there,
Calling to us
Never letting Go
Wrangling us in,
INVITING US to walk with HIM!!
We are Children of God,
Because of Christ’s Grace and Mercy,
To Cast our own lines out there,
To be fishers of people!
Will we wait on the shores,
Hoping for a bite?
Will we wander just a little bit out there
In the shallow end
Using ripped nets?
Are we willing
To dive deeply
Following Jesus Christ,
Towards radical transformation?
Thanks Be to God!
Hear the Words,
Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I was ready to give up.
In this state of exhaustion
When my courage was all gone,
I decided to take my problem to God
I am here
Taking a stand
For what I believe, is right
But now I am afraid
I am at the end of my powers
I have nothing left.”
Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“But I said,
I have labored in vain
I have spent my strength for nothing
At that moment,
I experienced the presence of the Divine
As I had never experienced God before
STAND UP for righteousness
STAND UP for truth
God will be at your side,
It is too light a thing
That you should be my servant
I will give you as a light to the nations
That my salvation may reach
To the end of the earth.
Where have YOU
Heard the voice
Of the Creator God
Speaking to YOU?
When where you challenged
To be that LIGHT
In this world?
Of God’s Holiness
Into our reality.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,
Heard this voice,
Clearly at a time
When his people,
Into a darkness
Evolved from malevolence
And humanity’s inability to live
God’s Grace and Mercy,
Given to US
Because of faith,
Is one of many examples
Of what being a servant
What a Servant of God means
To continually be rooted
This is what Jesus Christ’s birth,
What we were waiting for
Liberation from the inequality
Of life, manifested by humanity’s greed
That these ancient sisters and brothers
Living in the shadow
Of an Empire
Which was unforgiving
Is what our brother John,
Here is the Lamb of God,
Who takes away
Of US, beloved!
This is what our brother Martin
Was fighting for,
Inequality of one’s humanity,
That they were no longer seen as
3/5ths of a human
Injustice from the lack of,
Of being denied,
Even though God, Our Creator
Through our birth,
Marked as God’s Children,
Denies no one.
Is what the prophet
In Isaiah, too
Was striving towards for
The Children of God.
It seems that humanity has not ever,
Learned its lesson.
Throughout our history,
Our collectively journey,
The voices of those trapped,
Whether it be because of poverty,
Have ALWAYS been crying out
FOR GOD TO ANSWER PRAYER
For some sign that the Creator has not abandoned them.
For their lives,
To be seen as essential
And when the people cry out,
This is when the servants of God stand up!
John clearly lived into that role,
The coming of the WORD MADE FLESH
Comes a man
Who ranks ahead of me
Because He was before me.”
Even though he would suffer greatly,
Was rooted as a servant.
Did he wonder,
Whether his living
Was in vain?
Whether was his ministry
Nothing but a failure
Since actually being submissive to God,
And following God’s commandments
Was deemed trivial
And only done on surface,
And for appearance
Who were bent on holding to their human made power
When Dr. King was imprisoned
In the Birmingham Jail
Did he too, wonder
Whether all of his protests
Was in Vain?
As children of God
As servants of the Most High God
Are not afraid,
To raise our voices
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah
To lock arm in arm
Walking down streets
Into places of power,
Striving for Hope
That we care for,
KNOWING that sometimes
Our voices are cut off,
Our mobility ceased
Our causes drowned in seas of human greed
Do we think,
That our ministry
That our mission,
Is all in vain?
I sound like a broken record, right
But there is BROKENNESS in this world
When humanity gets in the way,
Of God’s Grace,
And TRANSFORMATIVE POWER
There will always be disparity.
But we must,
As people of faith
HEAR the GOOD NEWS
“Yet surely my cause is with the LORD,
And my reward with my GOD”
HEAR the GOOD NEWS!
“The Lord lifted me out of the desolate pit
The Lord put a new song in my mouth,
A song of praise to our God”
When we PRAISE our CREATOR
When we profess and proclaim what God has done,
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit,
We infect those all around us!
The Good News of Jesus Christ is
The WAITING IS OVER!
JESUS CHRIST IS HERE,
To baptize us with the Holy Spirit-
Not just so we have the assurances,
That we will be with God ever after,
But that God indeed, does walk with US,
As we do God’s Work
Standing with US in our fight for justice
Loving US regardless
I wanted to share a part of Dr. King’s letter from a Birmingham Jail,
That challenges us today,
But his voice, is no different from our brother John,
Or Martin Luther
“Wherever the early Christians entered a town the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being ‘disturbers of the peace’ and ‘outside agitators.’ But they went on with the conviction that they were a ‘colony of heaven’ and had to obey God rather than man…. The contemporary Church is so often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the archsupporter of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the Church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the Church’s silent and often vocal sanction of things as they are.”
Thanks Be to God.
Grace and Peace to you,
My sisters and brothers in Christ
Regardless of where you are
In your faith journey,
Know that the Creator is always present
In your joys,
In your sorrows
And opens up everlasting peace,
To all of us,
As God’s Children
The terrible waiting
Having to let go
Of our loved ones
And not have any control
Or say so;
Not knowing what will happen,
Having to rely
On our Faith,
On the promises
Made in baptism
Made here at the Table,
Will never leave us,
Nor forsake us
We cry out to God
About the ravages of illnesses
Of diseases we still don’t have the answers to
Of endless questions,
I lift my eyes to the hills,
From where is my help to come?
With nights in hospitals
And days tucked away
Coping with pain
When God, when?
“From where is my help to come?”
The Psalmist seems to be rooted,
In her faith
“God will not let your foot be moved;
The Lord your God,
who keeps you will not slumber.”
If these words are truth
Why then, are my feet so raw
Of running from this broken world
Of its pitfalls
You must be sleeping
Because you’ve not heard our cries
As we have fallen miserably,
That the brokenness of this world
Has laid out
For us, your children.
“The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand”
The disciples heard these ancient words,
And because of the promises of God,
They followed this Jesus,
Because of the Psalmist proclaiming
That help can only come from God,
God, our Creator,
Of every living thing,
They followed Jesus Christ,
The Son of God!
Here was the Lamb of God who had come to take away
All the sins, and the sorrows
Of this world.
The Kingdom of God was upon that horizon
These faithful sisters and brothers,
Connected to one another because of God,
Would be free
From the oppressiveness of their lives,
In the shadow of a corrupt Empire
Here in our Gospel this morning,
Jesus proclaims to them,
That He must die
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
How many times
Have we heard this Gospel,
As we gather in hospital rooms,
Immersed in prayer,
These are the times we struggle with our faith,
Because we are troubled,
We are torn with anger
Because we can’t fight these illnesses
Which rob us,
Of time with those we love,
And rob them,
Of being to be present with us.
We cry out to God about our faithfulness,
We cry out about their faithfulness,
God should have healed them!
We are deep in sorrow,
Because what else can we do?
Death comes and interrupts our lives,
Death, yes, just plain sucks.
Even as we weep,
There are tears of relief,
Relief because our loved one,
Sister in Christ,
Is in no more pain.
And that’s hard to confess, right?
Because we wanted her here.
Doing all of the things she loved,
Listening to us as we shared our daily, mundane stories of our life
Being an example of living out her faith
Serving with joy, the community that loved her back
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
That is Good News right here.
Because even as we grieve,
And will continue to grieve,
Doris was not only surrounded by those who loved her deeply,
In these moments when we question,
God loves us
God weeps with us,
And because of Jesus Christ,
God opens up God’s Kingdom
In that last moment,
When our eyes are closed to this world,
To be with God!
Doris was not alone,
And in that moment,
Her spirit was filled
Because of the promises that God gives to us
God will never forsake us
God will always forgive us
And God gave us,
Whose body and blood reveals for us,
Whose resurrection secures for us
An unbreakable BOND with our Creator
Is not the end.
Continues her journey,
With all the saints
Because we know we will see her again,
We are to live our lives fully,
Love and care for one another deeply,
And walk purposefully,
With what God has given to each of us,
Just as we know she would have,
Just as Jesus Christ calls us to.
Thanks Be to God.
“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.”
I see the light,
Shining in the darkness
When my children were born.
I am sure we have all felt that sense of peace
Because of their life,
And the presence of the Holy Spirit
And God’s sacred breath
Echoed in that first cry
It is a sign too,
Yes, our lives
A sign of resistance
Resistance toward that which lurks
In the darkness
Bent on destroying God’s Creation
And mocking the Creator God.
Our lives are a testimony.
I see the Light
Shining in the darkness
When we as people of faith
Joyfully come together
Sharing God’s Peace
Welcoming those who feel as if they are lost
Our faith is the resistance
Against this darkness
I see the Light
Shining in the darkness
When we as people
In this place
Stand as witnesses
The Good News
And then going out
To be one of many LIGHTS
To shout into that darkness
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
The shepherds were witnesses to this
No longer would they be fearful,
Because of the lowness of their station,
Because of the darkness of violence
For they had indeed seen that
Because the Creator God loved them too,
And sent Angels
To comfort them
Who crowded that cave,
To see this Babe
Was like any other,
But whose presence
Seemed to vibrate within their very being
They were witnesses
Because the Creator God
Loved God’s people
And sent this Babe,
In the midst of them
In the midst of the darkness
So that the darkness
No longer had any POWER!
Who come into these darkened sacred spaces
Lifting our own voices in song
We, who are led here to the Table,
Because of the promises
We don’t have to be afraid of the darkness anymore
Because of the Birth of the ONE
But we must be mindful,
We cannot keep this LIGHT
We cannot be so insular
So weary worn with
Of this world
That we hoard the LIGHT
Merely for our own healing,
Our own self sustainability
Especially because of the LIGHT
Because of the WORD
WE ARE FREE
Free to worship without fear
To share the Good News
That Christ is BORN!
Especially when it seems nowadays,
Seems to be winning,
There is frightening talk,
Of flexing muscles
With weapons of war
That brings no peace.
There is destructive behavior
Of attempting to extinguish others humanity
All in the name of safety
Of a select few
This is how the darkness lies to our hearts
There is openly,
At the golden calf
Regardless of who is hurt
Or whom is left behind
This is how the darkness blinds us
I asked the children during my children’s sermon
A couple of Sundays ago
Where in the world,
Is God’s Peace
Needed the most?
And many of you proclaimed
Everywhere needs to be reminded
“All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.”
Came into LIFE
THROUGH JESUS CHRIST
Not through any military might
Or Human force
Not through some random explosion-
What do you think,
Made that explosion,
Not even through
A cosmic accident
What do you think
Made the cosmos,
Because of simply
God’s LOVE for Creation
Because of God’s LOVE!
What Good News!
The Good News of Jesus Christ is,
Jesus Christ was Born
To be the WORD
A WORD of HOPE,
We celebrate the BIRTH
Of the ONE
Who will do EXTRAORDINARY THINGS
For US, beloved
So that none of us,
EVER have to fear
Jesus Christ is the LIGHT
And will always BE THE LIGHT
To guide us
To comfort us
And to bring US
Into everlasting LIGHT!
Shares these words
From his poem
“The Work of Christmas”
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.
Thanks Be to God.