Standing on the side of love

A word before worship this morning.

Welcome to the Church of the Epiphany. I am glad you are here.

We come together for one reason, one purpose: to worship God. To give thanks for our creation, redemption, preservation, and all the blessings of this life.

When that life is challenged, slighted, or blighted by sin, disease, and death, there is room in our worship, as there is room in God’s heart, for our struggles, our lament, our righteous anger.

So we come together to pray.

In a week that has witnessed talk of nuclear war, Nazi marches, questions even about our own police’s use of force, we come together to pray.

We pray for peace amid rumours of war. We pray for love amid demonstrations of White supremacist, racist hate. We pray, “Thy kingdom come.” We set our lives within the context of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We pray in the name of Jesus, a brown man, the descendant of slaves; a man whose skin marked him out as a suspect, second-class citizen in the political system in which he lived; a man who was unjustly executed.

He was a man whose kind the Nazis sought to exterminate, within the lifetime of some of us here. He was the Incarnation of God, the very image of God, in whom some failed to recognize even his full humanity.

The Incarnation of Jesus as the Christ is a reminder to us that God does not choose the power of privilege nor the face of fury to further God’s kingdom. His resurrection reminds us that God will not allow hatred to bury the power of love.

Jesus has said that, “Whoever is not for me is against me” (Matthew 12:30).

As we come together today, let us take care that our hearts are for Jesus, who gave his life for us.

I invite you into a moment of silent prayer.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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