I am writing this not even two full days after the mass shooting of grade school children in Uvalde, Texas. And I am heartsick. So soon after the racially motivated murder of Black Americans in Buffalo, and the attack on a Taiwanese church in Los Angeles -- how long as a society will we allow mass shootings, hatred, white supremacist attacks... to continue? Have we become paralyzed in the face of the forces that are tearing us apart?
My plan for this Sunday had been to continue our series on the healing miracles of Jesus with the healing of the paralytic at the pool in Bethesda. [See John 5:2-9a] And I was going to discuss "paralysis" in the metaphorical sense of getting stuck in our lives, unable to take the next good steps forward.
But now the theme is not just individual stuckness, but our collective inability to take the needed steps forward as well. In the Gospel story, Jesus asked a man who had been stuck for thirty-eight years if he wanted to be made well. The man replied "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” In other words, he portrayed himself as a victim of circumstances and blamed others. But Jesus ignored all that and simply said, "Stand up, take your mat and walk!"
Let us take that to heart. Let us stay alive to our longings for safety and justice for all. Let us cast aside excuses. Let us gather together every bit we power we hold, individually and collectively, and dedicate it to the common good.
Let us stand up and walk together into a society where all God's children are valued and safe.
The Lord so help us,
3pm Work Together
4pm Worship Together
5pm Eat together