Unholy Trinity: Guns, Poverty, Racism
In the name of the Holy and Undivided Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen
October 1st. 10 dead, 7 wounded on the campus of Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Oregon. 26 year old Chris Harper Mercer was prepared; protected in body armor and laden with ammunition, 6 rifles including and an assault weapon. He was “neutralized” by law enforcement. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/reports-shooting-umpqua-community-college-oregon_560d7658e4b0af3706dfdcd1?a70evcxr&ncid=newsltushpmg00000003
Who is responsible for protecting the children and young adults from acts of gun violence in our society? This self-identified small, tight-knit community in southern Oregon, amid shock and grief surely wants to know. One 18 year old witness related that “before opening fire, the gunman ordered students onto the ground and asked them to identify their religion.” (Huffpost, ibid.) We name those who died: Lucero Alcaraz, 19, Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18, Quinn Cooper, 18, Treven Taylor Anspach, 20, Sarena Dawn Moore, 44; Professor Lawrence Levine, 67, Lucas Eibel, 18, Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59, and Jason Dale Johnson, 34.
Is it some contest between Satan and God, like in the story of Job?
Read more: This Week's Sermon
A congregation gathers on a Sunday morning. There has been a lot of preparation. The altar has been set, bulletins have been printed, the heat turned up. The choir has practiced. Worship begins with The Word: Scripture and sermon, hymns and prayers have challenged and inspired. At God's Table, all come to to be reconciled to God and one another through Christ's body and blood. Renewed and strengthened we are Sent to live into our calling as apostles in the world. But first... the fellowship of coffee hour awaits. The Church, St. Paul said, is the body of Christ and each a member. It's true! Never perfect, filled with all sorts and characters and yet, a beautiful living organism of God's grace.
“God, the devil, and the Great High Priest”
Doesn’t this title have all the makings of a block-buster novel or movie? Besides the leading roles, there are also angels, saints, and garden-variety sinners. There are contests of power between God and Satan, God and Job, Jesus versus principalities and powers, and among disciples. Fortunes and families are lost and restored double-fold, a hundred fold. Healing takes place and Jesus offers a message, “Go, your faith has made you well.” This is the tableau according to the lectionary during October.
So why not embrace the mystical side of our faith? As I look around, I see orange and black lights strung up around windows in anticipation of Halloween. Really, they’re more like orange and purple. It’s true too that trick or treating is fun. Although last year Diocesan Convention interrupted many a plan to hand out (and eat) candy. Especially chocolate, sigh.
Read more: Rector's Message
"We are the Episcopal Church, welcoming all and practicing our faith through worship, discipleship, fellowship and service."
Transcripts of earlier sermons