From the Pulpit: Sermons Preaching Against Racism

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The Fire This Time: Reimagining Jesus with Pentecost Power

by Rev. Dr. Jay Williams
Scripture:
Jesus the Christ overturned the tables of thieves in the temple. It’s actually in all four Gospels. The docility of Jesus is one of the greater distortions of the Christian imagination. Jesus preached a gospel of liberation; he never physically hurt people, but he wasn’t “nonviolent” when it comes to property. It’s past time for Christians to get some fire in our faith and get angry enough to follow the angry Jesus of the Gospels.

The Riot of Pentecost

by Rev. Andy Oliver
Scripture:
Just as the Holy Spirit gave birth to the church, she brings the rebirth of liberation for the church today. Will we live into it or will we snuff out the fires allowing the harmful sin of white supremacy to be our defining story? What if Pentecost was a riot of resistance led by young people in the aftermath of their brown leader being killed at the hands of the state?

The Gifts of Grief and Lamentation

by Rev. Stephanie Vadar
Scripture:
Breathing is on our minds. In the midst of a pandemic that threatens our ability to breathe and making our breath threatening, we hear the heart-breaking cry of George Floyd: “I can’t breathe.” We have heard this cry before in July of 2014 from Eric Garner, as he, like Floyd, was being murdered by a police officer. In this time when the world is staggered by a virus that can steal our breath, this cry sounds even more horrifying. I can’t breathe. We confess that many of us live in a state of denial. Breath, these days, is a luxury. A privilege. (Sermon begins at minute 30:18 in the video)

Life and Spirit

by Rev. Kil Jae Park
Scripture:
In the creation story, the Bible teaches us that “the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:8).”  Life is possible only because the spirit of life is in us. Moreover, the kind of life that we live is shaped and determined by the spirit that is in us. Laws, regulations, policies, and programs can help shape the life of society to a certain extent, but they will never be able to transform or subdue the spirit of hatred and isms that govern the thoughts and actions of the people. True transformation can take place only when the spirit of the people is transformed by God’s spirit of love and grace. For this reason, the crisis facing our society today is a spiritual crisis more than it is political, racial, or social. Herein lies the mission of our church today. (Sermon begins at minute 17:20 in the video)

Speechless No More

by Rev. Dr. Vicki Gordy-Stith
Scripture:
Just as the power of the Holy Spirit gave the early disciples the courage they needed to overcome their shame and speak boldly, Pentecost encourages us to join them and fearlessly address white privilege and racism. Through sharing my own story of overcoming my shame and silence, we examine Pentecost’s invitation to listen, lament, and repent. Trusting in the love of God, the grace and forgiveness of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can take positive action to examine ourselves and address systemic racism. (Sermon begins at minute 3:32 in the video)

Assembly Does Require Instructions

by Rev. Dr. Larry Pickens
Scripture:
Assembly an authentic Christians community requires that Black lives matter
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