Friday, August 19 2022
“God is transfiguring the world this very moment through us because God believes in us and because God loves us. What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And as we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger that cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
In the next few weeks, thousands of refugees from Ukraine will receive food and medical supplies. The World Central Kitchen has sent over 11 million pounds of food into Ukraine and is feeding refugees across Poland. Direct Relief has sent 456 million in medical relief to Ukraine. Both charities are top ranked with a 100% rating. At the United for Ukraine event, several people commented to me that St. John’s is doing what the Gospel tells us to do. Presiding Bishop Curry asks us to love one another by our words and actions. There will always be tyrants in the world, but they have no power over us. The only power that cannot be shaken is the love of God through Jesus Christ. In this week’s lesson from Hebrews, we hear the words, “But you have come to Mount Zion and the city of the Living God…Therefore since you are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks.” (Hebrews 12)
In today’s Gospel Jesus risks criticism and his life when he heals a woman on the Sabbath. The mercy and love that he feels for her is greater than the risks of offending the hypocrites. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle gave a talk at the Lambeth Conference and shared some personal stories. “He spoke with a town governmental official while there and discovered she was not there in any official capacity, but instead donating her time in the refugee camp. She told him: ‘My ancestors were refugees too. I have refugee DNA. These refugees are my brothers and sisters.’ We are called to the border this fall to show the same mercy and love to the refugees in Nogales, Mexico that we just showed to the refugees in Ukraine. Many come to the border to flee from tyrants and to have a better life for their children. I don’t have any opinion on what to do politically, but as Christians, we need to show compassion and mercy. “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (Psalm 103:8)
I hope you have made some adjustments to your carbon footprint and that you are changing the way you think of this fragile earth that we live on. I believe that it is good for your soul to “act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) As God loves us with compassion and mercy, we should love one another with the same love. Loving creation is one way to return our love to God. We become part of the eternal (that which can’t be shaken) when our hearts overflow back to God and one another.
In Christ’s love,