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Sermon delivered on Sunday, June 26, 2022

Did you hear the good news today?

I know it is hard to hear anything good after a week full of bad news. Like many of you, I have felt a range of emotions in the wake of the decisions of our nation’s highest court. I’ve felt frustration, anger, disappointment, anxiety, and even fear. The overturning of Roe v Wade is a reminder to all of us that freedom and human rights—including the right to privacy and the freedom of self-determination—can quickly be taken away. This week, women were told once again that they still have no guarantee of equal protection under the law. Their bodies are once again subject to the will of the state and the will of men, based on the logic that the right to choose isn’t rooted in our nation’s history and traditions.

Which begs the question: What is rooted in our nation’s history and traditions? The answer is painfully clear. Our history and traditions are patriarchy and white supremacy and discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. This is the world our Supreme Court evidently wants to return to—a world where entire groups of people are disenfranchised and marginalized and even criminalized.

But did you hear the good news today? There is an alternative world that is rooted in God’s love and grace. It is a world that rejects the human definitions of acceptable and unacceptable. It is the kingdom of heaven that Jesus announced.

Did you hear the good news today? God invites those who have been fed the crumbs off the floor are invited to sit at the feast—a feast that is available to all—not just those who can afford the chair. (Isaiah 55:1-3)

Did you hear the good news today? Jesus sat with the people labeled “sinners” and even ate with them. Those who were rejected by the judges and condemned by “law and order” crowd were welcomed and accepted by Jesus. (Luke 15:1-7)

Did you hear the good news today? The Holy Spirit doesn’t do background checks on those she baptizes into the body of Christ to see if they have acceptable credentials. No, she gives each person a place—no matter what their religious heritage, no matter what their economic status, no matter what their gender label. (1 Corinthians 12:12ff)

Hear the good news again: Those who have been rejected because your status, you are welcome at God’s table. You are included in God’s kingdom. Those who have been hated because of your genders, you are loved; you are safe. Those who have been oppressed because of “history and tradition”, you are free. There are no dividing lines or labels In the world that the Spirit is creating. Here, there is no hierarchy of gender. Here, there is no binary of sexuality. Here, there is no supremacy of skin color. Here, there is no primacy of ethnicity. Here, there is no priority of class. The divisions and separations of the old order built and maintained on “national history and tradition” are passing away, and the new order of God’s kingdom where the last are first and the first are last, and where all are free is coming into fullness.

The Spirit is shaping us into the likeness of Christ and forming us into a beautiful multicolored, multicultural, multilingual, multigendered body of Christ—a picture of heaven on earth. And together, as the diverse and flamboyant body of Christ, we renounce the old creation with its oppression and bondage and embrace the God’s new creation of liberation and love.

So, together, let’s set the table and welcome every person just as they are. And let’s prepare a feast for every person that God has made and redeemed. Let’s offer a feast of full equality, a feast of radical grace and extravagant love, a feast of freedom and self-determination. Let’s prepare a feast of universal healthcare, a feast of living wages, a feast of secure housing, a feast of clean water and clean air, a feast of creativity and joy, a feast of education, a feast of safety, and a feast of inclusion and affirmation so that no one is denied access to the fullness of life ever again.

Holy Spirit, rain down. Holy Spirit, baptize us anew into the glorious body of Christ. Holy Spirit, work in us and through us to make God’s future a reality in this time and in this place. Amen.

Song: “We Are Setting The Rainbow Table”


One Comment

  1. This was a great one, Pastor!

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