“… The call of God on our lives interrupts our allegiance to the often death dealing, sacrificial systems of the world. God’s call, interrupts the economies that exploit, interrupts the politics that prioritize power over generosity, that prizes our love of guns over the lives of our children, that puts “national interest” over the imperative to welcome strangers and immigrants. The call of the one true God, the God of Abraham and Sarah of Isaac and Rebekah and Leah, of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, is a call away from the all the plans we once had, interrupts the business as usual of the world and calls us into a faith that feeds the hungry, visits and cares for the sick, listens to the story of the lonely and the abandoned, that let’s Christ show up in all the interruptions of the life of ministry and discipleship…”
“The way to God, is not a way that leads us out of this world. God can be known and experienced, God’s power can be shared and apprehended, God’s face is available to us, right here, and right now. Jesus says, he is the way and the truth and the life, and invites us to know him. So look for him, friends, by loving others, by serving, by seeing and knowing that each face around you is shimmering with the glory and grace of a God who loves you and all of creation with a fierce and unending love. Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have seen the face of God.”
Becoming Beloved Community means all of us, across every line and barrier, white and black and brown, gay, straight, trans, gender queer, non-binary, poor, rich, Muslim, Christian, atheist, and Jew, spiritual or not – all of us get free together or we don’t get free at all. The work of creating beloved communities includes liberation for all people, and, indeed, on this Earth Day Sunday, we are reminded that the “network of mutuality” and “garment of destiny” includes this precious planet, our island home, all creatures and ecosystems, and neighborhoods – the land and the water and the air which sustain life – our liberation is connected to all that is. We cannot get free alone.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? This body we are given, this flesh and blood and a heart that pumps, if our faith is to be believed, this body is made in the very image and likeness of God. When you peer into the mirror, is it the face of God you see blinking back at you?
A sermon for the funeral of Paula Cooey, by the Rev. Jered Weber-JohnsonSt. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul, MN.March 30th, 2023 https://youtube.com/live/Nd6egxtImro A year ago, give or take a week or two, I met with Paula at hers and Phil’s home on Osceola, to record a presentation she had written for a Lenten […]
A sermon by the Rev. Jered Weber-JohnsonMarch 16th, 2023St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul, MN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziE6WAZWOY&t=2768s It will come as no surprise to any of you who knew her that today’s liturgy, the songs and readings, the things we’ve included and not included were carefully planned and documented by Betty some decades ago […]
God gave up power, glory, strength, and infinity, and came among us as one known by his suffering, without power, and constrained by the structures of the world. In short, God sacrificed everything because God loves us. Today the invitation is the same and yet ever new. Can we accept that love? Can we believe in it, yield to it, rest in it, be renewed and reborn by it?
Like a gracious host offering gifts and hospitality, the plants we encounter daily, often without our noticing, are offering up food and medicine and beauty for any who have need. It is quite humbling if you think about it, enough to bring you to your knees in gratitude, both metaphorically, or literally by the side of the road in the moss, between the fir trees.
If Womanist and Liberationist theology does anything, it points to the liberating message Jesus lived and preached, the very radical message and life that got him hung on the cross in the first place. Jesus lived so that, as his mother sang, the power structures of this world might be inverted, the hungry might be filled with good things and the rich and powerful dethroned and sent away empty.
What’s more, like Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King, we can see in the lives of the saints, how their capacity to love is a real possibility, not remote or out of touch among the angels, but here, now, in our real lives amidst real struggle. We too can love like they did. Their love, like that of Jesus, does not exalt itself, but, rather, descends down further into the need and pain of the world.