Sunday, February 23, 2014

Former Student's Great Sermon - On Pacificism

I'm delightfully privileged to have had opportunity to be in the classroom - and have had time to mentor - many great people.  And, they have shaped and honed my life, too!

One former student was not only a great student "way-back-when" - she has become a remarkably deep and discerning, thoughtful and contemplative, powerful and meek, voice of proclamation.

I love her sermon from today, "Wannabe Pacifist."  - by Kyndall Rae Rothaus

Anything that inspires us to take the words of Jesus seriously - and move us towards being peacemakers - is great proclamation.  And her words are particularly powerful.

If you don't have time for her full-text sermon - or the 15 minute audio file - here are the final words:

I think, for the most part, the church is a group of wannabe pacifists who still spend their days swinging their fists at their enemies, at their neighbors, and at their own imperfections. For you and I, peace is still just a tiny seed we’ve planted and continue to water. The hour of worship is where we come to look for its budding and fertilize its soil. I just can’t imagine how it is that I’m ever going to look anything like Jesus, but sometimes when I am here, I watch your kindness and am reminded, by golly, we are on our way to holiness after all.

May we dare to try it: loving our enemies, praying for those who persecute us, going the second mile. May we be about these wild and radical Jesusy things: The refusal to retaliate. The gumption to look a madman in the eye and look for the remnant of his soul that remains. The audacity to be generous. The courage to let our fear of the other drain away. The capacity to get creative instead of mean when things get ugly. The miracle of holding hands with people we have a hard time believing belong in our circle.

As for embodying the radical, unrealistic but made-real-in-Jesus-Christ love of God: I don’t think we are ever going to get there, ever going to replicate it with precision, but we are going to forge a way towards it, and we are going to make many, many friends along the way, and we are going to die grateful that we brushed up against a thing so beautiful as love even in this war-torn lifetime. Amen.

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