August 16, 2017
Pastor Paul Cannon
Thus says the Lord: Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed.
It’s amazing what a week can do. Over the weekend we saw disturbing images of armed White Supremacists flying Nazi swastikas and bearing tiki torches as they marched in Charlottesville, VA. Then, in an act of terrorism, one of these demonstrators drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring at least 19 others.
Where do you find the words to describe such hatred and bigotry? How do you explain these events to your children and grandchildren? How do we make sense of it all?
As I struggled with some of these questions, I realized that as Christians we have a word that encapsulates what we all witnessed, and that word is sin. What we saw was sin, in its purest, rawest form (hatred, bigotry, violence, etc).
It’s almost overwhelming. Almost. It would be if we didn’t know that God’s love is greater than all hatred. It would be if we just all turned a blind eye to what happened. It would be … if we didn’t see signs of hope all around us (a light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it!).
A few weeks ago, we saw one of those signs, as nineteen high school youth, and three (crazy) adults loaded up for a mission trip to Minneapolis.
It’s amazing what a week can do. On Sunday, we will have our high school youth coming up to share their stories from their trip. And there are a LOT of stories. One kid learned how to pick a bike lock (for a good cause, I promise!). Some of our youth sorted through piles of … let’s call it interesting … clothing.
Of course, they weren’t all funny stories. We encountered people in need and we tried to bring a little piece of God’s justice to them and, in the words of Isaiah, to “do what is right.” We painted homes, tutored children, packed food and did whatever God asked of us.
In and through these stories, we saw signs of hope. We saw people working to bring God’s justice and love to all people.
And for these signs of hope that God sends among us, we say “Thanks be to God.”