Sometimes I ask my husband Matt, “What do you need to hear in a sermon this week?”
He replies the same way each time: “I need to be consoled, encouraged, and challenged.”
But this week he added, “Maybe leave out the challenge this time.”
There is just Too Much challenge in our lives right now:
Financial insecurity. COVID. Civil unrest.
Too Much challenge right now: for every action taken in the name of justice, racial equity, and democracy, it seems that an equal and increasingly violent reaction is returned.
Including here at home: the violent destruction Friday night of the Maricopa County Democratic offices.
No people were injured or killed in the attack. But for many the loss of this space is the loss of hours and years and decades of participating in the “little d” Democratic process--the kind of active participation in our democracy that defines our shared national life together.
“My eyes shed streams of tears,” the psalmist writes, “because people do not keep your law.”
Many of us have shred streams of tears this year.
Which is why I am grateful this morning for Paul’s letter to the Romans. It is a letter of consolationand encouragement. And, wait for it, challenge. Sorry, Matt.
Let’s look at each in this order: consolation, encouragement and challenge.
My Sermons (and other thoughts)
a sampling of sermons preached in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and a sprinkling of other reflections