June 21, 2015 – Pentecost 4B, Father’s Day
I don’t like to preach about current events. I’m much more interested in the timeless truths of the Gospel than the fleeting nature of the daily news. I’d rather tell you about Jesus than talk about the latest political crisis or natural disaster.
It’s not that I don’t think we have a responsibility to stay informed. And I know for certain that the timeless truths we find in scripture apply directly to our everyday lives. Looking at the evening news through the lens of discipleship is a great exercise for small group discussion, helping us to determine what it means to follow Jesus through the events that shape our culture and our lives together in this community of faith.
When this week’s news brought us those alarming images of a church surrounded by police tape and the faces of nine people who died there, my first impulse was to just work this into the pastoral prayer. After all, the bulletin was already printed. The scriptures were already chosen. The songs and hymns had been selected weeks ago.
There wasn’t time to change gears. It seemed the simplest thing to do was add our prayers to those of people everywhere, prayers for comfort to the grieving, prayers for justice, for God’s Kingdom to come and put an end to hatred and killing.
But my clergy colleagues wouldn’t let me get away with that. Continue reading