This has been another heart wrenching week for our country. We’ve witnessed our government officials pledge to seek to erase the existence and identities of our transgender and non-binary siblings. We’ve seen the horrendous aftermath of a gunman walking into a synagogue and opening fire, killing innocent worshipers. We’ve felt the reverberations of fear as a radicalized individual mailed bombs to government officials and political leaders. And in our own community, we’ve been reminded of the hatred that so many faith-based individuals hold in their hearts towards LGBT+ people, like our dear brother Aaron Bianco at St. John the Evangelist Catholic church just down the road.
In times like these, it’s easy to despair. How could our world be so divided? How did we become so afraid? When did hatred become our mode of operation? It’s easy to believe that things are just going to continue to get worse. That our nation and indeed our world is on the brink of collapse.
But our faith, the faith of Jesus, calls us to believe a different message. Jesus calls us to believe that we have the power, as individuals, and as communities to become the channels through which God speaks and acts and works to heal our world. That God, through us, is in fact working in the midst of evil to dispel the darkness and to shine forth the light of justice in our world. We are reminded that in a moment like this, our voices become all the more powerful. That the witness of this community to the radical inclusion of the Gospel is all the more needed in our world today.
How can we as individuals and community work to dispel the evil we face around us. The answer is at once simple and incredibly difficult. We must embody love- not a sentimental love that tweets “thoughts and prayers” for the victims, but an active, subversive, powerful love, that isn’t afraid to shatter fear through reaching across the aisle, sitting down at a table with our perceived enemies, and allowing our lives to shine like a light so that others can see the truth through us.
In a moment like this, we have the power to change the world by holding a space here in this community as we gather for trans folks and gay folks and Jewish folks and all folks to feel safe and welcome and free from judgement and allowed to ask questions and express doubts and be themselves.
In a moment like this we have the power to change our world by changing our own hearts- examining the places we’ve let the darkness of fear grow, and expelling that fear through confronting the very thing or people we are afraid of with a posture of warmth and peace.
So, this morning, we posture our hearts and lives in solidarity with all who have felt the sting of hatred and evil this week. We stand with our trans* siblings and declare that they are loved and beautiful just as they are. We stand with our Jewish siblings and say that we will defend and protect you and your right to worship without fear of violence. We stand with all folks across the political spectrum and say that we will defend your right to believe and speak about the way you desire things to be run in this nation. We stand with our LGB siblings and say that God takes pride in you and so do we.
May we lean into this moment, church, and not fall prey to despair or to fear, but choose the radically subversive path of love, and allow that active love to change our hearts and our world, one day at a time.