Good morning all!
Luke 1:68-79New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
78 By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”― Martin Luther King Jr
I really have no words about what happened yesterday in the world. My heart broke when I came back to my office and I started seeing what was happening on the news. I just kept saying, “Lord, have mercy…” out loud. In moments like these, the questions about what actions next are present. Obviously, something needs to be done. Shootings as normative are not acceptable and yet…and yet…what do we do?
Last year at about this time, I was fighting a different battle by trying to stand with an everyday congregation and offer them stability and comfort. Deep in my soul there is a passion for equality with our homeless brothers and sisters. Last year at about this time, the city had said no to that plan and was forcing us to consider kicking people off of the property. What could we do? The only thing we could even imagine was to have a candlelight vigil to pray and then to call for action because we figured the darkness cannot win. Only light drives out darkness and we must come together as community.
Fear wants isolation. If we are isolated from one another, we can’t do anything. Fear wants us to not hope because hope causes us to create new solutions. Fear wants us to hide because hiding means we can’t overcome. Fear wants us to hate the other because love will call us to transformation. So we have to not give into fear but instead put our light together, come together as community, get innovative and creative and not treat each other as the other but as “us.”
Today light a candle and find your people. It is time to pray and then to act. Love will win. There will be light and we will stick together. Amen.