Sunday, January 29, 2017

Standing With Those Now Targeted by Power - A Call - Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany - January 29, 2017

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6:7-8

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled. "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. - Matthew 5:1-12

“Trump’s executive order, signed late Friday afternoon, suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, bars Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocks entry for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.” - Chicago Tribune

This Epiphany we have been in search of Secret keys. 

Keys found in the Scriptures, that when grasped and used, 

unlock to us something of the Gospel of Christ’s Love,

that God’s love might flow more deeply through us, 

and that our hearts, our minds, and our worlds might expand as a result. 


Today I was going to remind you of each key we’ve discovered so far. 

There have been many. 

Then I was going to lead you on a bit of a journey, so that we might dig up today’s key together. 

But considering the events of this week, I’d like to be short. 


The key, found hidden on the mountain of Christ’s sermon toay, is this: 

To walk with Jesus is to walk with the ones that power crucifies. 

To walk with Jesus is to walk with those on whom power inflicts suffering and pain. 


Those called “blessed” in the beatitudes, are those being made targets today. 

And those being made targets today will never truly be “blessed” in real time, here and now, unless we take heed to the prophet’s call to “do justice, to love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” 

Blessed is everyone when we learn to be just.

We have not yet learned our lesson. 

Blessed is everyone when we learn to lift up the oppressed, and set the captive free.

Until then the our “blessing” is only a prayer. 

Amen? Amen. 


To walk with Jesus is to walk with the ones that power crucifies. 

To walk with Jesus is to walk with those on whom power inflicts suffering and pain. 

And today, sisters and brothers, I believe: 
To walk with Jesus is to take a side. 
To walk with Jesus is to take a side with the oppressed. 

Amen? Amen. 


Last night, in our own city, several people were detained— “documented” residents, with papers and everything. 
Folks who live here, work here—our neighbors. 

Our human family. 

Why were they handcuffed? Why were they detained?  

Because they are muslim. 

Or considered to be from “muslim countries.” 


Sisters and brothers, our family is being targeted. 

And, as we were reminded last week, when someone is abusing our family, it is our duty to stand up and demand that the one abusing “leave our family alone.” 

This president is leading us down a slippery slope. 

He is abusing us. 

He is targeting muslim people as well as immigrants. 

He is happy to detain them, to ruin their lives. 

To ruin our lives. 

And if things don’t getter better soon, 

I honestly fear what will come. 

If you are still having hang ups about where to stand, please let the Gospel help you to decide:

Stand with those who are being persecuted. 

Stand with our muslim family, our neighbors. 

Stand with the undocumented, “the economic refugees,” 
whose American dream 
is now certainly an American nightmare. 

Stand with Christ, the Crucified. 


As a congregation, in the days ahead, I believe we need to be ready to stand with our muslim sisters and brothers. 

We need to be ready to defend those our president is targeting regarding “documentation.” 

We need to be ready to take up our cross and to follow Jesus, even if it means sacrifice for us. 

Even if we are persecuted for justice’s sake. 

We need to be blessed. 

“the salt of the earth” that has not lost its taste.

We don’t know yet what this is gonna look like for us. 

But I pray that we walk this path together, 

knowing that we walk with Jesus.  


Lord, give us hearts to see your Reign of Love,

and be moved by it. 

May we be blessed.


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