Words for the Week – October 4, 2018

Dear church, the brokenness of our society has been on full display lately. The question on my mind is “how can I be part of the healing?”

I haven’t written or spoken much publicly into the fiasco surrounding the Supreme Court nomination. That’s not because I don’t have strong feelings or opinions – I do.  But I haven’t yet found words that pass this litmus test of peaceful speech: “Is it kind, is it true, is it necessary?”  

Still, I think it’s important for you to know a few ways I have been responding, behind the scenes. I’ve reached out to those I know are victims of sexual abuse.  I hope my track record thus far indicates that I am a safe place for you to come, if you need to talk.  I will believe you.  You are not alone.

I have also prayed for perpetrators.  I think it’s crucial for the church to remember that we believe in forgiveness and the transformative power of truth-telling.  I hope that those who might need a place of confession would come forward, trusting that no one is outside of God’s forgiving grace. 

I am also searching for the particular ways that God’s word, in Jesus, helps us become part of the healing.  Jesus was truth.  Jesus trusted God’s power was different than other power. Jesus cared for the most vulnerable.  Jesus was not afraid of powerful speech, calling out unjust leaders.  Jesus sacrificed.  Jesus built a community that was predicated on love, welcome, healing, and generosity.  

I’m writing this on Thursday. By Sunday, some decision may have been made.  And we will gather around the word and the cross and the meal.  I pray that worship of our God always gives our souls a life-giving contrast to the rancor all around as well as a commitment to do our part.  How can you be part of the healing?  I’ll see you in church.

Last week, our guest preacher Chris Schaefer gave a powerful sermon about human vulnerability and encouraged us to take a close look at how we might be getting in our own way.  He preached that the perfection is really wholeness – “being you” – and paradoxically, wholeness can only come through vulnerability.  Listen to his sermon here.

Be at Peace,

Pastor Sarah