In a lot of Christian preaching, and it doesn’t matter if it’s conservative or liberal or evangelical or progressive or anything other kind of preaching we can come up with, calls to repent are too often directed to “them.”
The fourth Sunday of Advent focuses on God’s love. And today I want to share a story of God’s love which comes from my own faith tradition, American Baptist.
We sometimes allow ourselves to hold on to the false notion that the “early church” was pristine and that all its theology was settled. The impulse this false notion leads to, especially among low-church folks like us Baptists, is that if we could only get back to the early church all of our problems would go away. But it’s a lie.
When we see a migration of hungry and thirsty strangers in desperate need of hospitality the living Lord says, “I’m with them.” Are we?
On the day of Pentecost, not long after Jesus’ ascension, the Spirit came down and rested “like tongues of fire” on each of the disciples’ heads, and they began to speak in other languages.
“You’ve raped our women, and you are taking over the country…” This is what Dylann Roof is reported to have said to a person who survived his terrorist attack on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. His goal? He wanted to start a race war. And this is the week we get…