Today was one of those days that I sought out a special word from God. I do that every Sunday, but today, with all that has happened and is happening in the world I needed it even more. So I watched several worship services, listened to several very good preachers. I watched Myers Park UMC, Washington National Cathedral, Riverside Church in NYC, and Duke Chapel.
All were very good sermons, using the Old Testament lectionary text for today; Amos 7:7-17 his word to Israel, and the Gospel Text of the Good Samaritan. Every preacher except one mentioned the shootings over this last week. James Howell even listed the people who died by name. They called for us to be involved in the work of peace… get out of the house and touch our neighbors in need… be the peacemakers.
The one that bothered me was my church at my school – Duke Chapel. She did not mention this violence at all… just said God is close. I don’t understand why there was this blindness, this lack of word about this matter?
I know there have been many discussions this week about all that has taken place in Minnesota, Louisiana and Dallas. I know many people have given their own personal remedies. But I believe that James Howell is right when he says that it is all interconnected. It is not just one thing. It is a whole bunch of things that work together to bring about this world going to hell in a hand basket.
The preacher at Riverside talked about God getting political. How we have built the walls of our society out of line with God’s plumb line. Our walls are leaning and God is tired of our ways. He doesn’t want to hear the noise of our worship. He wants us to change the way we are building crooked walls. Bring them down and build them by God’s plumb line.
I think we have forgotten some of the words to that hymn “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The forgotten words are … “and let it begin with me.” We want someone to do something but not us. But the problem is us… and we are the only ones who can change that behavior… “to take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.”
So what in our lives is out of plumb with God’s plumb line? Are we spewing negative hate speech, political or otherwise, on our Facebook pages? Are we telling racially driven jokes which demean people of other races? Are we turning our heads when we see someone in need? How about the gestures we make at others when overcome by road rage? How about the looks we give others who are different from ourselves? How about how we group the world’s people into them and us… label, cubby hole and forget them. Reexamine your lives and look at the Gospel… what Gospel are we proclaiming… love and peace or hate and violence? We are contributing toward one or the other. Make the change… be a peace maker!!!