Daryl Davis says “when two enemies are talking, they’re not fighting. It’s when the talking ceases that the ground becomes fertile for violence. If you spend five minutes with your worst enemy — it doesn’t have to be about race, it could be about anything…you will find that you both have something in common. As you build upon those commonalities, you’re forming a relationship and as you build about that relationship, you’re forming a friendship. That’s what would happen. I didn’t convert anybody. They saw the light and converted themselves.”
Stephanie Dozois, Minister of Youth and Families
If we march with Jesus, we choose an alternative to an oppressive and injust empire. If we walk with Jesus, we choose love as an alternative to violence and vengeance. if we stand with Jesus, we choose an alternative to feeling like we have to shoulder all the burdens alone.
Minister of Youth Music, Rachel Williams reminds us of the ways that God calls us to sing and dance even in the midst of sadness.
I’d like to suggest that it is the questions of faith that keep us going. I’m not implying that answers aren’t important, but there wouldn’t be any answers if we didn’t have any questions; and by the time we form a question, we have already begun to live into the answer.
“… when the researcher picked up an object such as a peanut to hand it to the monkey, some of the monkey’s motor neurons would fire. … these were the same neurons that would also fire when the monkey itself grasped the peanut. They eventually dubbed these neurons ‘mirror neurons.’ “
Out in our world, God has anointed us to help others in a variety of ways: so many of us are serving humanity through volunteer work and through our vocations. Generation after generation who have attended Memorial Congregational Church have gone on to make a difference in God’s world by helping and serving God’s people.
When we hear God’s voice and see God’s truth, we can open our mouths – telling our stories of God’s call in our lives; we can open our hearts to the ways that God is at work in our lives and our world and we can follow our call, So that we may be true and pure and strong and brave like all of the prophets who have come before us and using of gifts to be daring and to play our part in co-creating God’s world of peace and justice and love.
When the “gods of the nations” are trying to rule us through fear, we will sing songs that remind us about what love is bringing.
When we feel increasingly isolated and alone, we can gather in God’s sanctuary of power and beauty, and find support and comfort from our church community.
As the world tries to label us and divide us, we can gather here, and find commonality in our differences and blessings in our diversity as we learn to see Christ in others who are different from us.
Can I get an Amen?
We cry out “save us” and God answers “here I am.” Every time. Endlessly. How can we respond with anything other than a joyous “hallelujah.” God created this world for us. Over and over again, we are shown that love can conquer violence and death. Christ has died and has risen and lives on in us. When we follow Christ’s lead, when we allow God to possess our inmost heart, the weapons of death will lose their power, the kingdoms of the world will become the kingdom of our God and of our Christ – on earth as in heaven – and joy will dawn every day as it does on Easter.