Friday, June 26 2020
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Last week, Bishop Wolf preached that she has hope that we can overcome racism in America. I have hope that we can overcome racism, sexism, and homophobia. The reason that I believe this is that Jesus calls every Christian not just to welcome their neighbor, but to love them as God loves you. This call comes from our creator in heaven, who sent his only Son to be a model of love in the flesh. God empowers each of us through the Holy Spirit to see the world in a new way. I want you to reimagine church and reimagine racism from the perspective of the way of love.
My brother was playing golf with me the other day and I said something stupid. He said that I often have strong opinions and that nothing anyone could say would change the way I think. Well, this pandemic and the actions of the police around the country have opened my eyes. I admittedly did not agree with Colin Kaepernick disrespecting the flag that so many died for, but I am rethinking my worldview now. While I did not support his methods, I do support his cause. Maybe we all need to suck up our selfish pride and take a knee with the folks at Black Lives Matter. I will personally never disrespect the flag, but the issue is not patriotism, it is racism. The truth is that Jesus came in the flesh so that everyone might have abundant life. The fact is that we as a nation need to make some changes. We need to respect the dignity of every person that enters our church and welcome them with open hearts and an open mind.
In the second quarter of 2019, the top 1% of households and nonprofit organizations held 32.4% of all net worth in the United States. During the same period, the lower 50% of households and nonprofit organizations held 1.9% of all net worth in the United States. This has become not only a problem in terms of fairness to all of us but is exasperated by systematic racism. The median African American has a net worth of $11,000 and the top 1% have an average $42,000,000 in net worth. This disparity has led to issues in health care, education, housing and opportunity.
There is a lot of anger, hurt and confusion in the world because of all the inequity. We have had to reevaluate what is essential in our lives. Richard Rohr says that we need to reclaim Jesus and find the deeper ground of self. In returning to God, we can reevaluate our world view. Please join our Sacred Ground folks in committing to racial reconciliation in our church, our town, our country, and the world. Think about how you can turn to the essential and walk in the way of love. Julian of Norwich said that love was the purpose of Jesus. I urge you to follow the way of love by reconnecting with Jesus, taking care of those who are in need, and striving for justice. Richard Rohr says that in order to to adjust our worldview, we must live our way into a new way of thinking. Let us spend the rest of our lives following the love of Jesus.
In Christ’s love,