October 28, 2018

Be Encouraged! Get Up! He is Calling You!
Pentecost 23 – Proper 25
Becky Robbins-Penniman

So, what do I say THIS time? I began serving this congregation in 2010. 11 times in those 8 years, I have had the … challenge … of chucking the sermon that I wrote earlier in the week to reflect on some new event of gun violence and to do so in the context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Frankly, I don’t have anything new to say. I disagree entirely with the news reports from Pittsburgh that claim the nation is “shocked” and “stunned” by yesterday’s massacre of 11 praying people in the Tree of Life Synagogue. No, Americans are NOT shocked and stunned by this gun violence. We are no longer surprised. We may be glad it wasn’t here, but other than that, we’re almost numb to these reports. If we are not very careful, Americans will soon be resigned to violence.

One of the most logical observations about life that I make, and I make it often, is that every system is perfectly designed to get the results it’s already getting. The system we have now for dealing with random violence by “bad guys” is to mete out even more calculated violence by “good guys”: by police, by armed guards, by capital punishment. The system we now have will keep getting us what we’ve got. Violence. Unrelenting, perpetual, unsurprising violence. Do we really want it that way? Are we just going to resign ourselves to this system?

What do you think Jesus would do?

Read the full sermon HERE