Jesus Christ calls us to be a joyful community that celebrates God's love, transforms lives, and is a force for justice in the world.

Sermons on Justice

Unlikely Relationships

I think God, who is one being in three divided parts, is present amid our diversity. God fashions multiplicity, disrupts homogeneity, places different languages among us. And then, after dividing us up, God calls us brothers and sisters, children of God, heirs of God’s future together.

Courage: where does it come from?

St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church – The Rev. Bart Smith The Third Sunday of Easter (April 30, 2017) Acts 6:1-15, 7:51-60 – “Courage: where does it come from?” About that time, while the number of disciples continued to increase, a complaint arose. Greek-speaking disciples accused the Aramaic-speaking disciples because their widows were being overlooked in the daily food service. The Twelve [apostles] called…

Resist and Rest

Two thousand years later and a world away, what can we learn from how Jesus confronts the Pharisees, while still upholding the practice of Sabbath? I see two relevant take-away points here: 1) resistance and 2) rest. Being faithful and courageous in these times is going to take holy stamina. As we try to follow in Jesus’ footsteps right where we are, Luke reminds us that there’s a time to resist and a time to rest… so we can keep resisting.

Go the cliff

To quote Jack Good, “The text, then, is about both calling and task. Those who speak out must be able to report: ‘I cannot refrain from doing this. I am anointed by, pushed by, inspired by One who will not let me express my faithfulness in any other way.’ The opening scene of Jesus’ public ministry left no doubt: a commitment to Jesus involves a commitment to build communities of peace and justice. But first comes the calling.”

O Antiphons – O Emmanuel

God is indeed with us, and there is hope, but the sign of that promise doesn’t look like our normal conceptions of power. The sign God sends is of a different kind of power, one that is patient and enduring and willing to play the long-game. A mother will give birth to a child who will grow up and “learn to reject evil and choose good.”

O Antiphons – O Radiant Dawn

Advent reminds us that his is the sort of “dawn” that comes to us in Jesus Christ. Like the sun, that light is life-giving, but it also uncovers injustice. It gives hope and offers the promise of a new future. A new beginning emerges so faintly that it’s almost undetectable… at first.

Holy

So this is my prayer today: that we, too, would hear God’s voice, even if it’s in a whisper. That we would remember that no, we are not perfect, but we are God’s people. We’re not sent out empty handed. We’re not alone in what we’re called to do. The God of Hosts goes with us!

Reluctant Prophets

But by virtue of our baptism, God’s mighty claim on our lives, each of us are compelled to be prophetic. We not think of ourselves as prophets in the typical sense of the term, but we can all speak and act prophetically. And that takes on so many forms for each of us, in any number of situations in which we find ourselves.

Taking Risks for Solidarity

The hard truth is that we still see this kind of pain and lament caused by violence in our world today, almost 3000 years later. The hard truth is that US policy affects people in Latin America. The other truth we know is that our faith, this table of communion, calls us to solidarity, calls us to take risks for the sake of the Gospel.

Responding in Awe

While one possible response to seeing a glimpse of an abundant God might cause some people to batten down the hatches in fear of the vastness. The other response, which I believe we are called towards is to confront a God of abundance with awe and wonder, not just at who God is, but also who we are as God’s creation.