A Word From the Pastor
There has been an immense amount to process in the first five months of 2020, and it may sometimes seem overwhelming. We do not want to dwell with those things that are difficult and make us uncomfortable. I have a room in my house where I put all of the stuff that I want to pretend that I can ignore. There is a part of me that would only deal with the fluffy, shiny, pleasant parts. Trying to pretend that parts are not there, however, never makes them go away. We can no longer ignore the pain and suffering that have been placed upon some simply because of the color of their skin, while speaking about love and grace. My firm belief is that the message of creation was that the breath of life for humankind was meant as being all humankind. After all, Jesus and the disciples were Jewish men from the Middle East.
Because we as Christians ought to value deeply the sanctity of all life, we need to commit ourselves to dealing with the difficult questions. We are defined not only by the pieces that we put out there, but also by the way that we treat others. Right now, many have seen a precedent that African-Americans are not treated with value and that they can spew hate with no repercussions. It is time for us to speak the truth of love in support of the worth of our fellow human beings. Hate and venom are not the tools of the disciples of Christ.
I am often reminded of an account that came out of when the Wesboro Baptist Church began protesting funerals. In a time of such raw pain and grief, family and friends were being exposed to messages of hate. A creative group decided to make a shield for the mourners in a wonderful way. They created angel costumes and used the wings to block out those who were looking to inflict harm. They reflected the vision of angel wings signifying the presence of divine love and protection.
As we journey forward, the issue of racism is not something that can be put away and ignored. While those of us are not faced with it everyday can put it aside, we cannot forget that many around us cannot. Many in our own congregation are viewed as lesser simply because they do not fit the mold that has been arbitrarily set. It pains me deeply to acknowledge how they have been treated, and the fact that I have benefited from systems that favor me simply because I am white. I truly believe that Jesus has called us to support the marginalized and to speak for those whose voices are not heard. There are times and places where we will have the power to be heard simply because we fit the mold. Jesus never hesitated to bring worth and healing to those who others cast aside. To continue living into the model of Christ, I hope that we can begin to address these issues that have been shut up in the back room for far too long. Please join me in our discussions of the book, Unexampled Courage by Richard Gergel as we see how one person can use their power to change the lives of many others. (We will meet on Zoom Tuesday, June 9, 16, and 23 at 7:00PM. Let the office know if you would like to join.)