I haven’t been able to write for this little section for the bulletin for a few weeks.
Words are difficult to come by, and in the wake of the US election results, i struggle to write something encouraging and hopeful, and honest at the same time. My preaching mentor, Rev Penny Nixon, preached a sermon that reminded me again when she said, “I am everyone’s pastor in this room… whoever you are on your journey i know this – that these times demand our best and highest selves. They require that we remember who we are. They demand exactly an intentional return to what we value most deeply. At CCSM we value the teachings of Jesus and we gather around those teachings.” Her sermon is one i needed to hear. (you can watch it at https://youtu.be/ZAW1BrdKmp
i am grateful for Rev Lynnette Li’s sermon last Sunday in church. i am grateful she reminded us in essence what “First Realise Everyone’s Equal” means. It is not just a acronym. It is not just a cool slogan. It is not just about how LGBTQ people are equals, but also about how other minorities, other people – basically everyone – is equal. We often have clauses after some statements – “but”, “except”, “unless” – to exclude some people from the “us” who are equal. We need to be reminded again – when we say everyone, we mean everyone. God’s love includes – and Jesus teachings are about love of God, love of self, love of community, love of other, and – yes, the one we don’t like – love of enemies.
i spent two days tuning out things to ponder. On the first day, i thought to myself, being a Star Wars fan – that must be how Yoda felt after Order 66 (sorry non-Star Wars fan – you need to Google this one). At the end of the two days, it dawned upon me – i wonder how the disciples felt when Jesus was arrested, trialed and executed. i wonder how they felt when His body was brought to the tomb.
It is hard to think about dawn in the deep dark night. Yet, we are the followers of the Resurrected One. Jesus said “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” It is hard to see the kingdom of God in our midst – but it is there. It is there when we step out of our comfort zones to do the work of healing, reconciliation, peacemaking, justice and love. The Church doesn’t exist to serve only the people within her four walls.
This Sunday we are commemorating Transgender Day of Rememberance. We remember those who have lost their lives just because they are different. We also want to learn how to love our transgender siblings and how we can advocate for their wellbeing. Sometimes, we might be tempted to think – are we still revelant with our special services like Transgender Day of Remembrance and World AIDS Day? i had some thoughts about that too – but time and time again, there would be someone whose world changed when they felt affirmed through these service. They felt as though God spoke to them through us.
i invite you to join us. Be the Church.