SERMONS

The Church needs to be a part of God in Christ’s healing and reconciling work for the world. If we ever thought we could be sleepy, or go about our lives just minding our own business, we know differently now. The underbelly of racism has shown itself again in all it cruel detail, and our nation and the world are trying to find a way forward. And even as we grieve for racial injustice, our hearts and minds are perhaps made aware, or reminded of other injustices: The reality of how sin and brokenness mars God’s good creation can be seen in the prejudice and violence still being committed against LGBTQ folks. It can be seen in the human pollution that has led to the climate change that continues to create ever more erratic weather patterns and conditions that place an additional burden upon the poorest of the poor living in areas struck by drought and famine, conditions all too often leading to social unrest and war. Yes, in that strange way that one grief can remind us of all the other griefs, we who are being woken up to see the blight of racism may find ourselves more acutely aware of all the other difficulties and struggles present in the world.

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As I read our Gospel text this week, in which we hear again about the disciples huddled with fear in the Upper Room, behind locked doors; I find myself wondering, I find myself wondering just how many of our sisters and brothers in this world are locked behind doors for fear of their lives. And I specifically wonder this week about those who are locked behind closed doors because the color of their skin. Longing for someone to come and proclaim peace in their midst, longing to be able to live out the fullness of sharing that peace with others themselves, free from the sin of the racism that has oppressed so many in this world.

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Resilience.
Resistance.
Resurrection.

With God’s help we seek to build resilience in the midst of changing times, for ourselves but especially for others in need.

With God’s help we seek to build resistance to the powers at loose in the world that would undo the work of good.

And all of this, and all that is worthy, is build on the foundations of love and mercy and justice made possible through the power of the resurrection; through the power of Jesus Christ who is our dwelling place, our room within the mansion of God’s eternity.

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These are tough and even agonizing times that we are living through right now. As individuals, families, faith communities, nation, and world we are in the midst of the kind of major historical events that will be written about and considered for years to come. Yet we are living this history right now, laboring through it and seeking to understand from day to day what we should be doing and what this all means; for family, faith community, nation, and world.

We as Church and people of striving faith are desperately needed during these times; to hold space for the tough questions raised and wrestling and interpreting needed. Now, more than ever, we need communities like Redeemer for worship, for Bible Study, to guide and direct our efforts to help the wider community and world, and for laughter at coffee hour and Community Fun Nights. We may be moving in virtual territories now, but the real connections and depth of relationships being built by Christ among us for the sake of the world are more vibrant than ever, thanks be to God.

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This is real. Jesus, standing alive in our midst, just as he stood in the midst of the disciples nearly 2,000 years ago. Impossibly encountering and coming to the disciples and us, not just beyond a door they had locked, but from beyond the cross where Jesus went to be willingly crucified so that their lives, our lives and our very narratives, yes even the very narrative of the universe, might be forever altered by grace.

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