Around the world as here at home, the flow of goods, means, monies, and resources, is stopped up and held in stagnant pools. And, while there are exceptions that prove the rule, the church has largely left this process unquestioned and unchecked, benefiting and profiting from it as we have over the millennia. We have ignored the very teachings of Jesus which envisions and hopes for a world where resources and money are not accumulated but distributed. Where the flow of health and wealth isn’t directed at the followers of Jesus and the church that purports to follow in his name, but rather passes through us and out to a world desperately in need of healing and hope.
The costs of following Jesus include all we possess, and all we hold dear. But like a mother concerned for her children, Jesus seems to believe that the old ways, the ways of neighbor love and welcoming the stranger, the ways of treating everything as gift instead of possession, the ways of grace and peace, are ways worth passing along, worth giving our lives over to. Choose these ways, he is saying. Choose life.
Great sinner that I am, what I adore about Jesus is that he has the audacity to not only welcome sinners like me at his table but he chooses to be seen publicly feasting with my kind and loving us in public. And let’s face it, the stories at the sinners’ table where Jesus is are juicier and we sinners are far more interesting that those seated at the judgy, self-righteous, holier-than-thou tables.
A sermon by the Rev. Craig Lemming on August 14th, 2022. In the name of God who calls us to love, to heal, and to serve. Amen. The Rev. Dr. Barbara Holmes, affectionately known as “Dr. B,” preached a sermon on my first day at United Theological Seminary that made an indelible imprint. Dr. B […]
Too often churches, non profits, and even radical organizations make the fatal mistake of not recognizing the essential agency of those most affected by the issue. We, the free individuals and allies of our time, are not what will bring forth the great social transformation that we desire on our own. Whether you believe in change through a ballot box or revolution, no matter how much organizing and planning you do, the impetus for social transformation is in the so-called nameless masses, those on the margins, whose bodies, created in the image of God make change happen.
Colleen Swope, in formation and discernment to be a deacon, is getting ready to spend at least a year away from us in an intensive season of learning and growth in another faith community. To recognize and celebrate Colleen before she embarks on this next chapter, we invited her to preach a sermon during the […]
We are walking that treacherous road from Jerusalem to Jericho today. We see and will continue seeing bodies of children in classrooms, women’s bodies, bodies with ovaries, differently-abled bodies, Black and Brown bodies, same-gender-loving, gender-non-conforming, and gender-expansive bodies, all stripped of their human rights, robbed of their dignity, beaten down by colonial evil, and left for dead, if we do nothing.
People gonna rise like the water,
gonna to shut this pipeline down
I hear the voice of my great granddaughter,
saying keep it in the ground.
I had my arms linked with one of my movement grandmas, a pastor wearing her collar, and I sang this song through tears while she was ripped out of my arms and thrown to the ground by a police officer. We sang this tune against the backdrop of our beloved earth being torn up for profit.